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Egypt's Sisi hails 'success' of Suez ship rescue
Its owner said that while the giant ship "has turned", it was still not yet fully unwedged
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi on Monday hailed the "success" of an operation to unwedge the giant Ever Given container ship, stuck in the Suez Canal for nearly a week.
"Today, Egyptians have been successful in putting to an end the crisis of the stranded ship in the Suez Canal, despite the enormous complexity surrounding the process," Sisi said on Twitter.
However, Suez Canal Authority (SCA) chief Osama Rabie was yet to confirm the end of rescue operations, having said early on Monday that efforts to fully free the vessel would resume late morning.
The SCA said that the ship had been moved to point "80 per cent" in the right direction, after the stern had been freed.
Sisi also said that "Egyptians have proved today that they are still up to the task."
He added that the Suez Canal, inaugurated in 1869, had been dug by "their grandparents with the force of their bodies."
The 400-metre (430-yard) long Ever Given became jammed diagonally across a southern section of the canal in high winds early last Tuesday, halting shipping traffic on the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.
Its owner said that while the giant ship "has turned", it was still not yet fully unwedged, according to AFP.
The MV Ever Given, longer than four football fields, became wedged diagonally across the canal during a sandstorm last Tuesday, strangling world supply chains and costing the global economy billions.
Shipping data company Lloyd's List said that the tailback of ships had reached 425 at the two ends of the canal, in the Mediterranean and Red Seas.
Once the ship is fully afloat, it will take around three and a half days to clear the traffic jam of ships, Suez Canal Authority (SCA) chief Osama Rabie told Egyptian TV.
Rabie said earlier Monday that rescue efforts with tugs had succeeded in shifting the stern of the ship.
"The position of the ship has been reorientated 80 percent in the right direction," Rabie said in a statement.
The stern of the boat has moved away from the canal's western bank, according to both sites.
"The stern... moved to 102 metres (335 feet) from the shore," compared to its position four metres from the shore previously.
Efforts to refloat it will resume on the next high tide.
The SCA statement said that the refloating process "will resume when water flow increases again from 11:30 am (0930 GMT)... in order to completely refloat the vessel, so as to reposition it in the middle of the waterway."
Lt. Gen. Osama Rabei, the head of the Suez Canal Authority, said workers continued "pulling maneuvers” to refloat the vessel early on Monday.
Satellite data from MarineTraffic.com showed the ship in the same position, surrounded by a squadron of tugboats with its bow stuck in the canal's eastern bank.
The skyscraper-sized Ever Given became stuck in the Suez Canal last Tuesday and has held up $9 billion in global trade each day, bringing disruption to the vital waterway. Already, hundreds vessels remained trapped in the canal waiting to pass, carrying everything from crude oil to cattle. Over two dozen vessels have opted for the alternative route between Asia and Europe around the Cape of Good Hope, adding some two weeks to journeys and threatening delivery delays.