ISMAILIA (Egypt) (Reuters) – Traffic in the Suez canal was not affected by an oil tanker’s sudden engine failure on Tuesday, the canal authority said, adding that the vessel had been fixed and started up again.
Shipping websites MarineTraffic and TankerTrackers said earlier that marine traffic had slowed in canal as oil tanker M/T Rumford appeared to face difficulties in the southern part.
“The authority dealt quickly with a sudden failure in the engine of one of the ships crossing the canal, the oil tanker Rumford, with a payload of 62,000 tonnes, while crossing the canal among the southern convoy,” the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said in a statement.
The canal tugs dealt with the incident ”in a professional way” and the tanker resumed its movement in the canal after the failure was fixed by the vessel’s crew.
”Maritime traffic was not affected”, the SCA said, adding that 84 ships passed through the canal from both sides on Tuesday.
Reports of delays in the major global waterway are particularly sensitive following the grounding of the Ever Given on March 23 which blocked the canal for almost a week and threw international supply chains into disarray.
A trade source said that the canal notified companies that the M/T Rumford faced engine trouble in the canal and that it had sent tug boats Tim Hope and Mosaed 3 to its aid.
TankersTracker said on twitter that the vessel had run into difficulty but is finally heading north again.
The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) chairman Osama Rabie told Reuters earlier on Tuesday the issue had only lasted about 10 minutes and “was fixed”.
The SCA is considering expanding the southern section of the waterway where the container ship Ever Given became stranded, Rabie said.
(Reporting by Yousry Mohamed in Ismailia and Nadine Awadalla in Cairo; writing by Mahmoud Mourad; editing by David Goodman and Philippa Fletcher)