CAIRO: Two tankers, the Singapore-flagged BW Lesmes and Cayman Islands-flagged Burri, briefly collided in Egypt’s Suez Canal, ship tracking company Marine Traffic said on early Wednesday (Aug 23), citing eyewitnesses.
The shipping tracker showed the BW Lesmes, which carries LNG, stopped and pointing north, and Burri, an oil products tanker, moored and pointing south about 19km from the southern end of the canal at 2.55am (7.55am, Singapore time).
LNG tanker BW Lesmes will be towed away to the Suez anchorage area, shipping sources told Reuters.
A time-lapse shared by Marine Traffic showed Burri turning sideways and colliding with an already sideways BW Lesmes at 4.40am (Singapore time) before backing up and pointing straight.
The last port call for both ships had been Port Said to the north.
There was no immediate confirmation from the Suez Canal Authority.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) told CNA it was informed of the incident at about 5.30am Singapore time on Wednesday.
The BW Lesmes was grounded but has since been refloated with assistance from local authorities, a spokesperson said. There are no injuries to the crew, and no pollution reported.
Approximately 12 per cent of the world’s trade moves through the Suez Canal. During strong winds in 2021, a huge container ship, the Ever Given, became jammed across it, halting traffic in both directions for six days and disrupting global trade.
Since then, there have been minor issues caused by technical problems with individual ships.