Look at some of the photos of the front of it. Look at how far out of the water it is sitting. The ship might look like that if it were totally empty, but not when it is full of containers like this.
Some people saying: just drag it off of the sand. Okay! And what happens when that causes you to rip a hole into the hull of the ship? Now it's really stuck.
Some people have suggested unloading the ship. I don't think you realize the infrastructure required to unload a ship. You're basically asking to build a port in the middle of the egyptian desert. That isn't going to happen.
It's really stuck. It's probably going to take a couple of weeks to get it unstuck.
It seems, though, that a partial unloading is being considered by a professional in the field according to quotes in an article in The Guardian :
However, Peter Berdowski, CEO of Boskalis, a specialist dredging company that has sent a crew to the scene, said data so far suggested “it is not really possible to pull it loose” and that the ship may need to be unloaded. “We can’t exclude it might take weeks, depending on the situation,” Berdowski told Dutch television.
He said the ship’s bow and stern had been lifted up against either side of the canal. “It’s like an enormous beached whale. It’s an enormous weight on the sand. We might have to work with a combination of reducing the weight by removing containers, oil and water from the ship, tugboats and dredging of sand.”
Yes let's blow up a whale, beached as.
What could possibly go wrong? Remains to be seen.
In contrast, points and longevity serve as a rough, very-democratic measure of a poster's cumulative contributions to the community here, and thus (indirectly) of how well the poster has grokked the local cultural norms. That, in turn, gives readers useful information about the weight that they might wish to consider giving to the view(s) expressed by the poster.
(Apropos of which: I see that you still have a total of -1 points for the all of five days that your account has been active.)
Then came back just then after a few busy days and had to do a massive double take at the number of upvotes; I probably shouldn't discuss the actual number, but it's my most upvoted reply ever - there must be a lot more punsters here! :)
I used the reference to the NZ "Beached As" due to its brilliance, if you haven't seen it it's a silly treat especially if you love the accent.
And again I greatly enjoyed that sardonic tone of the original video, which I saved for future repeats.
Aside from taking too long, it fails to manipulate the audience by giving them a prepackaged take that aligns with the viewers' preconcieved bias, enrages the opposition, and generates audience affinity with the news outlet. Where's the profit in that?
The news barons of the past foolishly conflated the two, or at least assumed the first was optimal at producing the second.
Today, we’ve learned better — there are far more effective strategies available, largely by exploiting our natural search for drama.
That is, the reporting was good at its goal of good reporting; but this was not the correct goal to have.
That's in Seattle, where al of nobody does the "hw" thing.
So that was a surprise to find in their little takehome pages. I'm guessing those handouts were first xerox'd 40 years ago...
1. pull the ship out of the sand by force with a fleet of tugs which tears a hole in the ship causing an angle of loll and to subsequently keel over.
Theres a reason wacky, dangerous ideas happen in the movies and not real life. The consequences of trying to look clever and failing are pretty severe.
If you ever seen a truck up close, you probably have an idea how tricky it is to maneuver even a single functional one on open flat ground. I can't even begin to imagine what it would take to move off even a fraction of 10,000 equivalents of bricks of the size of trucks, let alone budge the massive ship off of the sand banks.
Also it's less middle of nowhere there's a pretty large airbase nearby it looks like from Google Maps and a second smaller airport south of where Evergreen got stuck so there's plenty of support near.
An empty forty foot shipping container on its own weighs about four tons and their max supported weight is 33.5 tons, so the problem is somewhere in between for every single container. A Mi-26 helicopter, a "heavy transport helicopter" can only lift 14.5 tons, so there will be crates that can't be lifted.
Even if it was possible, and ignoring the logistical issues, you can't ignore the safety issues. Doing it quickly across seven days is going to lead to human and equipment failure, and somebody's bound to get hurt or killed. Considering how many eyes are on this right now, what do you think is going to happen the first time someone dies?
However, the current estimate for mission reliability is still below the required threshold (i.e., minimally acceptable) requirement. The program office reported in November 2020 that the helicopter demonstrated an 84.5 percent reliability rate, which is short of the program’s threshold requirement and below where the program office expected the reliability to be at this point in development.15 The program office projects that the helicopter should reach mission reliability of 88.6 percent after operational testing.16 According to program officials, the main causes of the reliability shortfalls have been technical issues identified during developmental testing. For example, the reliability of the main gearbox has been one of the main factors affecting the helicopter’s overall mission reliability metric.17 As mentioned, the program office has mitigation plans in place to address many of those technical issues, but has not yet demonstrated the required level of overall helicopter mission reliability.
Considering how many goods and how much money is being blocked up by this the response may be loud from come parties but I doubt governments will care enough to stop it.
Some estimates I saw put the estimate at 10 billion dollars of goods being held up by the jammed ship and the costs of delays caused by sailing around the Cape instead will probably put a multiple on to that number before this is all over. There are construction projects in that corner of the globe worth far less that kill far more than just a few people but that hasn't really slowed them down much has it?
And remember the Suez Canal was closed for 8 years after the 1967 Israel/Egypt war.
Straight of Gibraltar- I think
To show what I mean, compare the level of reporting and political backlash from , involving two construction workers against , involving 11 other deaths, that were only revealed after an audit. Visibility matters. I don't think it's unfair to say that if any deaths happen here that there would be far more global visibility than .
And besides, it's a silly armchair idea that doesn't make any sense whatsoever after ten minutes of scrutiny.
Sounds like efforts are going into offloading fuel and water tanks while they continue to dig up sand.
Losing a few percent of weight in cargo is worth it.
But in real life these things aren't optimal ;)
I thought about this. I don't think a chopper can lift the container. Depending on the size of the containers, even the biggest chopper might not be enough
Get the ship moving again, I think if you pull too hard, it may fall apart. There is no infrastructure to unload it.
Gut feeling: Mount a crane on a ship and start unloading it to a smaller ship.
Though I suspect another problem would be getting another ship large enough for all those cranes and strong enough to support all the weight close enough to the ship without them damaging each other by knocking into each other from waves and weight movement.
I also forgot about the matter of transporting those giant cranes onto the site. That itself would probably take weeks.
I don't thinks this is your concern. Desperate times, desperate measures. Likely you would fix/attach the crane ship to the container ship. I am sure they are willing to salvage two ships at this time. The daily losses must be gigantic.
Of course there is the “what is physically possible” and “what is politically doable” and there maybe a bit of a gulf there.
Hell, Israel's close by, and I'm pretty sure they've got this sort of airpower in droves and are probably pretty heavily reliant on the Suez Canal; maybe instead of fighting with Egypt the Israelis could, say, pitch in and foster some good will? And further, it'll make up for the time when fighting between the two countries caused a Suez Canal blockage ;)
Also, if they find this is feasible, you don't necessarily need Israel to get a few Sikorsky choppers there, at least the Incirlik air base must have some and the Sikorsky definitely has the operational range to cross over there on its own, Iran certainly has some, the Eisenhower last I checked a few weeks ago was near Italy and surely that group has at least a few Sea Dragons...
1. This assumes that the containers are actually loaded to their maximum gross weight. That doesn't seem likely; you're much more likely to run out of volume first - even if you're deliberately "optimizing" for as much weight in those containers as possible.
1a. This assumes that the heavy containers are at the top rather than the bottom, which would be backwards from how containers are supposed to be stacked (or even allowed to be stacked per your average safety guidelines around center of mass, stack limits, etc.).
2. This assumes that multiple helicopters can't work in tandem (which they can, from what I understand).
So yeah, even if there are some containers that are too heavy to safely unload via helicopter, I strongly suspect that quite a few - most, probably - of those containers could be readily unloaded. And further, even if that ain't enough to get the ship moving again, it's at least a good start.
> the Eisenhower last I checked a few weeks ago was near Italy and surely that group has at least a few Sea Dragons...
Do you mean two helicopters carrying a single slung load? That is not practised anywhere.
Tandem loads in military terms refer to a single helicopter carrying two slung loads, one in front of the other.
As far as I know, none of the helicopters mentioned above are rated for sling operations with 40ft containers.
There was a sea basing study and that only looked at 20ft containers and dismissed even a theoretical upgraded CH-53X (although of course the study was looking at much longer range than just lifting it and putting it back down) but again, that was just 20ft, these 40ft ones are just too heavy for choppers.
A writeup https://www.aerotime.aero/27542-Could-helicopters-solve-the-... if anything, the Royal Jordanian Air Force operates two Mi-26s but
For many containers, using helicopters would probably mean at least partially unloading their cargo, which is a difficult and time-consuming endeavor. The process of removing containers by helicopters would be even more difficult, dangerous, and time-consuming, so it is very, very unlikely we will see it implemented unless the situation gets really desperate.
In this case, you're Israel, your neighbor's Egypt, the street is the Suez Canal, the semi is a giant container ship, and your F-650 is about 23 CH-53-derived heavy-lifting helicopters.
Also, while we're at it w/ terrible analogies, consider that many people (including the CEO of the company that got called to clean up this mess) are saying this is going to take weeks. The more accurate analogy is that your F-650 is a dozen tugboats, the truck is not blocking the road, but instead sunk in a marsh an hour away from town (the suez sand bank), loaded w/ 10,000 50lb lead anvils (the containers) and all the manpower you are able to summon in order to move those anvils are a dozen highly paid software engineers (the choppers) who may or may not be inclined to take a week off to help you move the anvils off the truck, and who may or may not be actually physically capable of helping even if they wanted to spend their week hauling hundreds of 50lb anvils by hand. Oh, and you can't just drop anvils in the marsh either, even by accident, due to the risk of poisoning the water supply for the town. And you can't rule out the risk of one of the software engineers tripping and drowning. And you're not even sure your F-650 can pull the truck out without tumbling it on its side or yanking off the front axle even if you empty it out completely.
Yeah, average. That doesn't mean that every container - or even most containers - are loaded to that weight per TEU. Indeed, it's highly likely that they're not; the heavy containers are going to be toward the bottom, and the lighter containers are going to be toward the top. And there are probably a lot more light containers than heavy ones, because...
> Nearly all containers are packed to the brim
Volumetrically, yes. Not necessarily in terms of weight. Indeed, unless you're shipping gold ingots or something, "max goods shipped" necessarily means that you're more likely to run into volumetric limits first.
Not to mention that the max container weight in practice is usually a fair bit lower than the ISO spec, since those containers have to get to their destination - which means traveling on roads and railways with their own weight limits (both for the whole vehicle and per-axle), and on vehicles that themselves are part of that limit (and themselves have limits of their own). And further, a container can only have so much weight stacked on top of it.
> Real life is not pleasant to armchair theory.
Indeed it is not, which is why when it comes to the containers themselves I'm speaking from experience as a professional in the supply chain / logistics field :)
(But yes, admittedly my knowledge on military helicopters is less substantial, so if there's someone who's not an armchair theorist on that topic who wants to chime in, that'd be most welcome)
That is 56.8 to 62.5 tons, depending on the type of ton. Lift two containers at once.
Making things even easier, the shipping company knows the position and weight of every container. The containers have been carefully placed, keeping the weight low and spread evenly. The containers on top are the low-weight ones.
You're right that most of the heaviest containers would be at the bottom of the stack. That's kind of a mixed blessing though..
Depending on the temperature as the site, that could be a lot lower.
They went bankrupt, which is kinda sad. It had a designed lift capacity of 160t, so could theoretically lift several containers at once, given the right harness.
(Of course I have no idea if it would be have been practical to use it to unload the containers, but the idea is certainly intriguing).
Hell, a big enough explosion might prevent ships from ever getting stuck at that spot again.
How the insurance would be settled would be interesting, I suppose it'd be the same as though the cargo was blown overboard.
And if you're unloading, the human labor cost to unload the whole container is probably cheaper than the cost of running a fleet of helicopters for weeks to months.
Even that is not enough. It can lift 20 tons, and the 40 foot containers on this ship are heavier than that.
40ft container maximum weight is 67,200 lbs. Skycrane max payload is 20,000 lbs and Mi-26 is 44,000 lbs. But do you think all the containers are at max weight? The ones on top are the lightest and the helicopters might be able to help with them after all, or maybe we can find a way to use two helicopters per container.
Spoken like a true programmer :) That's incredibly difficult and dangerous.
It would sound like a massive angry swarm of bees.
I'd buy a plane ticket to Suez to see that. Or even pay for a proper 4k stream of the event.
Edit: Something like this https://www.hydrologicalsolutions.com/aqua-barrier-cofferdam...
The ship weighs 220,000 so it will be riding about 4.5% higher in the water. The main channel is very narrow. Its bow is buried about 20m deep and 100m into the shallow bottom outside of the channel. They are not going to lift it out.
But you would have to take great care to prevent it from rolling over, so you probably can't lift it up too far.
I am excited to see how they will solve the problem though!
The canal itself is MASSIVE - 79ft deep and 700ft wide - and if you're turning you'd need to be wider still. We're talking about removing absolutely massive amounts of material.
That's when under speed. If these ships don't have the unidirectional port engines like cruise ships do for maneuvering in tight spots (and they may not, I don't know), in this situation they would likely use tugboats for turning. That's what they're for.
That doesn't necessarily make a diversion feasible, but I don't think whether it's feasible or not rests on whether these ships can turn. That's really not the problem as I see it.
Excavate sand around + weight from ship pancakes sand its sitting on, gradually = ship lowers back to floating depth
Also, I doubt the sand goes down very deep...this is a costal area, not rolling dunes. You're going to hit rock quickly.
which is not going to do much here. It seems the trouble with a lot of solutions - the tugs can probably tug with a force of something like 600 tons combined but the ship weights 220,000 tons which is like putting a force of 5kg on a 2 ton car which is stuck. Probably not going to budge it.
Really you want something which will shove it with a force maybe 10% of the weight, say 20,000 tons but there don't seem to be many of those lying around.
I wondered if they tied a cable from the ship to one of the other large ships nearby and fired up the main engines if that could do something?
But do the ships actually have to turn? As long as they are floating instead of stuck in the sand, can't they be dragged sideways, either by tugboats or by stationary winches on land?
Of course, the ships would have to stop first, which would take miles of slowing down, and it would probably still be faster to fully dig the stuck ship out of the sand than to dig a diversion channel.
Besides, my newspaper said that the economic losses of the stuckness amount to like 400M per hour. That is a looot of money you can throw at a problem.
I don't think we want to be waiting for 10 years. Cheaper to blow up the ship and its cargo than to re-build a whole new canal.
Project Orion did contemplate a 400m diameter ship weighing 8 million tons....
>Proposed uses for nuclear explosives under Project Plowshare included widening the Panama Canal, constructing a new sea-level waterway through Nicaragua nicknamed the Pan-Atomic Canal, cutting paths through mountainous areas for highways, and connecting inland river systems.
You're basically asking why can't they just make a whole new canal in less than a week?
I honestly think a lot of thinking works that way, where we'll let tomorrow me worry about it. To be fair, a lot of the time it makes sense. The problems a solution creates are things we need to accept when alternative is worse (think global warming vs starvation circa 1770).
This is the kind of job you want to get right the first time.
Here's a drone video I took today!
I didn't realize they were water-filled!
Digging out around the ship is going to be much less work because of the amount of material you'll need to move and how far you'll need to move it.
So much cash burned per hour, a fallback wouldn't hurt, and secondary backhoes could be used, so the primaries don't slow down in their primary task, dredging.
Of course, I bet someone is, even now, trying to reduce costs, not caring that even an hour or two will wipe out all savings.
An atom bomb would certainly clear the canal, but what of the cost?
One thing many people are missing is the Suez Canal is not concrete, it’s sand, so the canal “walls” are not vertical they’re a relatively gentle 3:1 slope (4:1 in wider areas). Meaning only the center half of the canal is flat and “at depth”, the ship started hitting sand 30-40m from the edge of the canal. By the time it reached the visible edge it’s half-sitting on sand half wedged into it.
I say build a trebuchet on deck and start launching containers into the desert.
Even if you could somehow launch one every minute that would still take 2 weeks of non-stop bombardment.
Fascinating how much stuff you can put on a ship and the scale of loading/unloading operation.
Nope 300k appr !
Edit: It may also not be "full". Here's a top/bottom picture with the most "full" I could find on the top, and the current situation on the bottom. https://imgur.com/a/b8neNkR
Edit: So maybe 6000 40 foot containers, current state?
And a good photo to confirm your 28 bow-to-stern number: https://photos.fleetmon.com/vessels/ever-given_9811000_26410...
Then a week of bombardment. Still impressive.
Usually the crane operator will load/unload several containers without moving along the dock; because they're all lined up, the crane only needs to travel in two dimensions (vertically and across the boat from port to starboard). The cranes are specialized to pick up containers by the top corners, which makes connecting fast. Standardized containers means the corners are at the same place (ok, there's a few sizes, but 40 ft containers are the vast majority of ocean shipping) and lining up is easy. On the dockside, there's a crew of longshoremen that move chassis (trailers) into place for the crane to drop (gently, usually) the containers on, those are then parked nearby, etc.
Depending on the ship (and the dockside staffing), you can have multiple cranes working the ship. Planning is required to keep the ship balanced and minimize the number of containers moved. These ships generally visit several ports in order, and usually both unload and load at all of them, so it's complex.
Depending on the traffic (and pandemics), the port runs up to three shifts.
Just check the contents first so there's nothing really harmful inside.
Also start scaling up to multiple trebuchets as soon as possible and make it rain.
Stimulate the local economy via job creation for the clean up.
Monetize the live stream too.
The trebuchet will save the global supply chain thanks to you.
Don't forget to sell the containers as NFTs.
When they’re unloaded, I don’t see a massive empty frame, so unframing is done at some level.
Max payload of a Chinook around 11,000 kg near sea level at not high temp. (correct my number here from the wrong version of the Chinook...older versions were 4,500kg)
So, if your container is a a quarter full, sure
Shipping company should know exact weights of each container for this and billing reasons.
And this assumes that the containers are indeed loaded to their full weight capacity.
The lift capability of this setup is from the y axis. But at a reduced load. This is a physics problem.
Thou reduce weight any meaningful amount you would need to remove hundreds or even thousands of containers.
I am not even sure if anyone would be willing to fly 4 helicopters tethered to each other, but even if they do, its going to be very slow for safety reasons.
And good like finding insurance company that is willing to cover, if anything goes wrong.
And enough pilots and helicopters, to do that 24/7 for a few months
> This is a physics problem
no it isn't
Something like that, but redirected under the ship: https://youtu.be/BIoBGZLc7wM?t=184
This is such a good idea that it actually exists and works.
Look up water injection dredging.
As a salvage job, this isn't that bad. No waves, a good climate, easy land and water access, hull intact, on an even keel, no leaks. It's just big.
If you want to waste time on this, look up the AIS data for all the big dredges and cranes Boskalis and Smit own, and see what's moving towards the Med. Here's the Boskalis dredger fleet. If those guys decide to move sand, sand will be moved.
Smit's ships include the Smit Borneo, which is a crane ship big enough to take containers off a large container ship. It's done that before. If
they have to partially unload the ship in place, it can be done. Not all that fast, but it will get done.
Here's a Smit container removal job from a smaller ship, but one in much worse condition.
Those guys do a lot of planning and modeling first. The idea is not to make things worse.
The idea that there's any quick way to manage the cargo of this ship is whistling in the dark.
I have heard this as, "whistling in the wind", taken to imply sound waves are distorted by wind patterns since sound waves use air molecules for conveyance. Whistling into the wind would tend to dampen sound waves intended for up-wind listners. Whereas, whistling with the wind tends to cause a whistle with the same decibel level as the into-the-wind variety to travel a bit further to down-wind listners.
How would the medium of light impact travel distance of sound waves? Or is there a cultural reference here that is different for me as a American english speaker?
'Whistling in the wind' is about futility. A whistle is inaudible in the face of a massive elemental force like wind. "The lone excavator pushed on the hull of the colossal container ship, but it was whistling in the wind."
'Whistling in the dark' is about presenting a brave face in an intimidating situation: a nonchalant whistle in fear-inducing darkness. "They confidently claimed the ship would be moved in two days, I knew they were whistling in the dark."
If you care about understanding people and being understood, simply looking up idioms is way more effective than trying to construct meaning from physical principles. Just a thought :)
Just cut the tip off.
But also curious of the bulb can be removed without affecting the integrity.
It there was even shadow of a chance that that might work, then every single excavator in Northern Africa would be on it's way to the canal to dig it out and free the ship.
In fact I'd say that if there was even a snowball's chance in hell that that would work, China would be airdropping excavators into the area as we speak.
Damn straight, considering the law of salvage:
> The law of salvage is a principle of maritime law whereby any person who helps recover another person's ship or cargo in peril at sea is entitled to a reward commensurate with the value of the property salved.
>Thus, if the ship was not a under command, unable to navigate or to reach port unaided, the service will be considered salvage even though the ship was not in imminent danger of destruction.
>It was in the light of this that Gilmore posits that releasing a ship that has run aground or on reefs, breaching a ship to keep her from running on rock, raising a sunken vessel, putting out a fire, and recapture of a ship taken by pirates, are all salvage acts.
The maritime salvor as a volunteer adventurer, Nzeribe Ejimnkeonye Abangwu, International Journal of Law, Volume 3; Issue 5; September 2017
If that was the deal, forget salvaging it, just buy a new one with the cash instead.
Just ditch the ship and buy a new one if that's the choice you face.
Like why not call in the army, rent every bulldozer in the district, and within 12 hours you'll have 30 on site and be able to move a lot of sand quickly to free it?
I think they have no idea at this moment as the tugs can't get it done.
In all fairness, all the excavator in the world probably won't solve the problem, because they have to sit on land, but the ship cuts deep.
Because that would all be a tremendous waste of money, and would not get the ship any closer to being free.
The government there commissioned a "national mask team" task force... so there is some credence to the "poor governance" argument in the US.
Turns out blanketing the population with surgical masks, which are designed to block the sputum coughed into the air by a sick person, is an effective tactic against a respiratory disease!
Most people didn’t realize how bad covid was going to get, even the experts.
Also, I think shipping is about to get more expensive, I guess.
I'm no expert, but I think it makes a huge difference whether you're in a flimsy, wooden ship with even flimsier sails made of cloth, or in a 400m long, extremely massive steel vessel with a reliable internal combustion engine.
Why? That sounds implausible. Firstly, the larger a ship, the less affected it is by waves. Secondly, high winds will shred your sails, but without sails it's hard to maneuver .
The best I can come up with is heavy lift helicopters to at least remove the front most containers to relieve some of the pressure but even that would be an enormous operation.
Anything else would require major construction especially if it is to reach more than just the first four or five rows which is likely not going to be enough.
Can do up to 60 tons total weight for a bit. That should cover even the heaviest containers. At least, I hope it does, if not they're royally screwed.
A container can be up to 33 tons loaded, so the heaviest will be beyond that helicopter (at least of you don't want to push it past its safe limits).
I assume that the heaviest containers are on the bottom of the stack, and that most containers aren't near the limit, so it could probably unload a substantial number of them.
Also, they had two canal pilots on board. I’m pretty sure that this absolves the shipping company of responsibility for guiding the ship safely.
When governments, banks and major companies are highly leveraged, all it takes is temporary system shocks to collapse the whole thing. It's not just the lost canal revenue, it's tons of companies in the region that can't get their goods to international markets which slows capital flows, tax revenue, import/export tariffs, etc. Will be interesting to see the effects.
It's amazing that more ships are not simply sailing around Africa.
There's actually a robust and competitive market for intercontinental shipping canals:
(tens of thousands of dollars just for fuel each day)
This vessel is most likely trash at this point. Time is of essence because tidal is pushing it against shallows and since its not perfectly centered it will eventually tip and with these amount of weight, not much tipping required for the whole thing to snawball. At this time they are figuring out how to quickly remove (save) as many containers as possible. Most likely will happen with another of these monsters to "park" close by and one by one will move the most expensive cargo first.
Another option I got from my buddy who is doing this stuff for life, is suggestion to dig up a whole big enough underneath to actually sunk the whole thing. This can be done in less than one week and is fastest most "stable" option. At this point they are not looking at saving this one vessel, but rather how to get the canal to operate again asap. You probably know it from driving on highway "move aside accident vehicles" is the most important thing to do.
Maybe bring another Evergreen ship there and move containers onto it...?
Depending on contents, some might float very well. Or even dissolve away. My dollar store salt-shakers (with salt) came from vietnam.
The top will be the lightest containers, so I’m guessing that’s where your 40 footer of ping pong balls is sitting.
In other words, just deep enough for ships to come through with little wiggle room. Not as tight as the Panama Canal, but it's not much bigger.
The interesting thing for me is going to be where that ship goes if they manage to re-float it.
And yeah, even completely empty with no fuel or ballast you will never see the bow out of the water like that. However it is more than capable of surviving being dragged along sand. It's just that they have nothing strong enough to drag it with.
Eventually someone will stake some anchors into the ground and use an industrial winch, but that's where hull design starts to suck - there's no good anchor points by which to pull it, so there'll need to be a large number of straps cradling the hull that are being pulled.
For anchor points they could easily weld additional steel plates/rings at numerous points on the hull for a many lines spread out.
Maybe place some cables under the front section attached to airbags. It would not lift it off the sand but may help with downward pressure on the pull back + the excavator work.
Also cant you vibrate/aerate sand to make it have a liquid effect? Might help pressure but no idea how that could be done at scale required... winches and cable seems easy to access fast.
-- the Ever Given has a mass of ~220,000 tons (2.2e8 kg)
-- let us very conservatively assume that it is a homogeneous block, 1/3rd of which is on sand, 2/3rds of which is on water
-- the Coulomb coefficient of friction for steel on sand is a very complex function of sand composition and size, but roughly it's about µ=0.5 and F=µR 
-- For the 2/3rds of the ship that are in the water assume that it moves frictionlessly in an inviscid liquid (not true at all else ships wouldn't have huge engines!)
-- You therefore need to apply a net tension of ≥0.3 x 0.5 x 2.2e8 ≈ 33 MN to a wire to have a remote chance in hell of accelerating the ship backwards
-- This is about twice the thrust of a Space Shuttle solid rocket booster at liftoff.
I'll start with my guess: A long time
US Military is probably the only entity that could pull this off in a timely manner. At great cost of course...
Russian Military has: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mil_Mi-26
That's the one they've used to rescue downed US helicopters :)
Looks like a 40ft shipping container weights around 8000lbs empty, couldn't find a stat on full. It seems such an operation would be outside the capacity of these helicopters. Sure they could comfortably lift empty containers, but probably not full ones.
Realistic headline: As more of the bow and stern are freed from sand, ship suddenly lists and dumps 5000 containers into the canal.
That would obviously be catastrophic.
I think you just need a smaller crane ship to transfer the cargo e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auxiliary_crane_ship
The ship is stuck because the sides of the canal are quite shallow.
You are quite likely to get two stuck ships instead of one.
I would guess someone could figure out how to use a normal-ish crane to unload some of the containers and set them down in the sand. The top containers look like they are maybe 150 feet or so higher than ground level.
Edit. Okay "ends".
It is crosswise and in the banks on both sides.
Or stopping the current at 90% of the ship and letting it push to the front ( if it's in the right direction), perhaps in combination with gigantic sails ( if there's enough wind) and/or sucking sand/mud from the bottom.
Filling in the entire canal is unrealistic.
The Egyptians had a bad experience with that in the past though and lost a lot of gear and many men in an incident. Might be understandable if they didn’t want to do that again.
Relevant feedback on pro's/cons: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26587692
Concrete is dry in 24-48 hours. Sand and wooden poles could be enough.
Some ideas on the how, could be found in this video, on how they created a bridge in the middle ages: https://youtu.be/nJgD6gyi0Wk
I'm pretty sure engineers could find better/faster solutions than what I'm proposing.
This means you need to provide .. lets see, a trapezoidal cross section is 500 square metres.. 100,000 cubic metres of filler. Twice. And then you probably need to curve it to resist the pressure, so that's a bit of a lowball figure. You can't dam any less, because the ship is stuck sideways across the canal.
Using some old numbers for concrete pours in Ireland (2016 era) per cubic metre, that's 7.5 million Euro worth of concrete. Sure, you're not going to use pure concrete like that though - you'd probably start dropping massive boulders in first, and then try to cap/fill it.
Have a read of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_Islands to get a feel for how long it takes to lay in that much material..
And then you have to dig it all back up to reopen the canal.
They need some construction which they can add water faster than it escapes the container, to raise the water level.
If stacked water based cofferdams would be a solution ( idk depending on these requirements, current, ..), it could be done quickly if they have the bags ( multiple teams, multiple locations to start and filling the coffers with water as soon as possible). The budget to fix this fast is probably pretty high. A lot would depend on how much they need to raise the water for the pressure, so it wouldn't collapse. ( Fyi, i do think water based coffers would collapse, but perhaps sand ones can be placed in top on it for 1 meter).
Palm islands needed a construction that holds multiple years and isn't the same as the issue in the Suez canal.
Tu be honest, I'm just thinkering about the variables that could make this work, instead of dismissing it immediately.
A sister comment mentioned 400$ million per hour worth of trades being blocked by this, so the cost of this would probably recouped by the time the order is cleared.
but it's not $400M lost? If you ordered a $100 package from amazon and it got stuck in transit it's not a $100 loss.
Biggest issues seem to be building ( and logistics) + deconstructing. But i saw an estimate of a cofferdam for a
bridge of 640 meters ( but less deep and with a single crane) of 16 days.
But seriously, it looks like dredging or a king tide will be needed to get that ship flushed out of there.
Btw, it takes roughly 9-10 additional days to navigate a ship around the horn so ships would be better off steaming the long way around if time is critical.
Suez canal seems to be a Single Point of Failure.
If it could be done technically and open up the canal, it would be cheaper for insurance companies to buy the ship, it's cargo, buy all nearby property and then blow the whole ship up.
For the shipping companies, they can still go around Africa and the cost of doing that is probably only a little higher than paying the toll as Egypt wants to extract as much money as they can without pricing it over the cost of going around Africa otherwise the shipping companies would just do that in the first place.
I'm curious how much of this is hightide vs low. If the photo is taken at low tide you have about 1.7m drop on the stern which is going to make it look far more stuck. While if the photo is at high tide, wow.
> And what happens when that causes you to rip a hole into the hull of the ship?
I cant see sand friction ripping a hole in the steel unless there are rocks in the mix. I think the bigger risk is cracking the hull if there is too much weight at the front vs displacing this across the entire hull.
> I don't think you realize the infrastructure required to unload a ship.
To this, while absolutely it huge infrastructure Im assuming they only intends to reduce weight, not unload. So some crane choppers or whatever can make a big difference taking off 5% of containers type thing. I even wonder if they want to keep the back loaded to effectively life the front... but that might exacerbate the risk of hull breakage?
My armchair engineering would dump a load of salt into the water to increase buoyancy of the ship long enough for the tugs to get some momentum with less effort than currently.
That would be my cheap try solution to help the tugs that have already hit there limit so why not change the physics and add a load of salt.
With that I don't think with the whole damming of aspect would be any better than damming of and pumping water in. Also with that scale you run the risk when you breach the dam of causing what I'd call a saline tsuanmi which might not work well for the ships in it's path and may well cause another to get stuck.
So, more a form of quick kick to aid in getting the tugs an initial bite and a quick dislodge, however small, would only help and may well tip the balance.
My intuition is that at the scale of ship, and the canal, “a few lorry loads” is not going to have any noticeable effect.
For kick of initial momentum, I suggest nuclear weapons.
Though, to be fair, even the CEO of Flexport initially dismissed this, saying "I assume they'll have it fixed in a day or two. And anyways there's such a backlog of ships waiting to unload at the ports of arrival that it probably won't even impact the transit times of the cargo."
What's with the many joucular/tounge-in-cheek posts on this thread..
Seems pretty quick to setup and do assuming there are helicopters that can move that weight.
And they can (if I remember right) contain 20 tonnes or so, of cargo.
Our current chinooks can handle 10 tonnes, and the old models could carry 4, if I recall.
And probably less in desert heat.
So helicopters will not be moving any containers
The ship is 400 metres / 0.25 of a mile long. With containers, it weighs anywhere up to 199 thousand tons. One does not simply attach a few hundred cables, put some rollers under it, and pull with all the tractors you can find in Egypt.
Also, it's already in the water. It's just turned sideways and buried the bulb (by the looks) into the canal wall.
I'm not saying it was aliens, but... it was aliens.
Somebody call Elon. Get the TBMs, and set them to work building a tunnel under the ship.
Now fill the tunnel with giant rubber bladders.
Call the Saudis and have them start shipping over helium. Fill the bladders with helium.
Okay, keep the saudis around and get them to bring over one of the high pressure water drilling rigs that they use for oil. Start digging out the sand above the bladders, and float them up to be UNDER the ship.
Okay now call the Dutch. Get them to bring over some MASSIVE water pumps and some damming equipment. The two guys on excavators can help. Dam up the canal on both sides of the ship, and pump out all the water.
The bladders become rollers. Roll that ship back into the middle of the canal.
Okay now repump the canal, and float the ship away. Bam. Done!
If you had this, then I would damn each side and pump water INTO that space. Raise water level, ship frees. Boom
Not just that, but don't forget the inertia. The moment the ship gets unstuck the force needed to get it moving, multiplied with the ship's huge mass would create such a huge momentum that it would be very hard to stop it from hitting the other shore with the stern.
You're an optimist, that's for sure.
Assume that it takes 5 minute to connect a bridle to a container, hook it to a helicopter, and move it...and then also assume that the helicopters can run 24/7 and never have to refuel, that they can hot swap in pilots, and that there is never a single problem, you're talking about 25000 minutes, or about 17 days of absolutely non stop running helicopters.
And that only gets you 1/4 of the containers, and it might not even work at all.
(It's not a dumb question, and I'm sure that it was already discussed by the team who is dealing with this. It's just that the scale of what is happening here is restrictive.)
Amount of actual containers is probably the 20.000 divided by 1.6 or so, though it's not a given that any vessel is fully loaded to max capacity. Sometimes need to deal with restrictions.
Those heavy ones would be evenly distributed in the bottom of the hold, down below the water line. Low-weight ones are on top, for ship stability.
It appears to be roughly 7 x 20 x 25 containers, or 3500... (height x width x length.)
EDIT: Freezing this video I got a better view of how it's stacked today. I'm sure this is imperfect, like I said trying to count candy in a jar. But I'm curious what the real number of containers is!
H X W X L
10 X 23 X 25 ~= 5750
That said, taking off some containers is a viable option but it'll probably have to wait for a crane ship to arrive.
Hooking them up to a helicopter would be a slow, dangerous process as well.
Weight-wise, the average container could be lifted with a military heavy lift helicopter: The ship carries 20,000 tons, i.e. 1 ton per TEU, and a CH-47F can lift 11 tons. Although a TEU can weigh up to 26 tons, so you couldn't lift the heaviest ones.
The problem is speed: A ship-to-shore crane at a properly equipped port can do a lift every 2 minutes. Ports can speed things up by lifting several TEUs in a single lift - but you'd also expect a helicopter to be slower, because we haven't put decades of optimisation into the process. So let's assume those cancel each other out.
If they can keep up that rate with a helicopter, and they operate 24 hours a day, it would take 28 days to unload the ship.
I suppose it's possible you could find a bunch of pilots confident in cargo handling, landing on ships, and close formation flight all at once. Or that the ship is large enough the helicopters would practically be independent of one another?
Each helicopter has a crew of 4 on the boat and 4 on the shore. They hook 4 chains to the 4 corner hoists of each container. Say it takes 1 minutes per container to affix the chains, 1 minute to fly to the sand, 1 minute to unhitch, and 1 minute to fly back. Thats a lot slower than agricultural helicopters, but nobody will be very practiced with this yet, so it'll be slower.
The entire ship could be unloaded with this method in 5.5 days. Perhaps less if not all the cargo needs unloading.
The job could be half done by now...
It takes a purpose built crane a few minutes to unload a container, so I sort of doubt a helicopter could make it happen faster.
Although I suspect you don't want to repeat that trick too many times without serious inspection/maintenance.
I also saw someone mentioning 40 feet containers weighing up to max 9000 lb (ca 4 tons), but not sure it is a relevant or applicable number.
I now wonder how regularly Gell-Mann Amnesia occurs for people on HN, really.
The threads are not particularly interesting because people make the same suggestions over and over again.
"If these jokers will talk this much about this even though they clearly know nothing at all about the tech involved, what does that say about their comments on all the other threads here?"
So much of what happens on the internet is in bad faith that it makes it really hard to just have innocent conversations without being misunderstood. :-(
I've found it communicates my curiosity in a way that's less likely to be misinterpreted. It's made my internet/IRL conversations much more productive.
... and I have to admit I’m still not able to easily recognize the difference between bad faith and utter lack of experience and/or intelligence without digging deep into the history of the individual posting such “questions”.
And the need for that extra digging makes such questions effectively the same waste of time and emotional energy as responding to a troll.
You know those scenes in the movies where two characters circle around each other giving the side eye like "so are you fucking with me or are we cool?"
Twitter in particular feels like a whole site of people doing that. :)
"Why don't you just" get a bunch of people on rafts and row real fast to push it off?
"What's the problem with"
"What's the problem with training every pigeon in the world to grab on and fly it out of there?"
"Why is the following wrong: They could get a shitload of muskrats and have them dig out the banks?"
Etc. Suggestions made obviously ridiculous.
Exactly the same thing. Just not on a public board. Just like everyone else is doing when discussing problems they face in any line of work.
Since it's unlikely anyone here has any decision making power relevant to the Suez canal, look at this discussion as an exercise in group problem solving. Sharpening the saw.
Not exactly-exactly. There are (e.g.) 1000 suggested solutions.
950/1000 of them are silly, stupid, impossible, -facepalm-, etc.
25/1000 are doable.
10/25 are doable and cost less than the other 25
5/10 are faster than others
2/5 are actively being investigated, and of course they won't be announced to 'us'. They (thinkers/engineers/specialists) will have to talk to their CEOs/COOs/CFOs, insurance companies, Egypt's military, handlersof the canal, and a bunch of other key stakeholders.
(my ratios are pure guesstimates, but it makes sense that there is a selection process, and we won't figure them out from our couches)
Like the parent comment said, it’s a way of thinking out loud.
For e.g., when someone says “just dig it out, it just pull it away...”, I give them a benefit of doubt by assuming what they are really saying is “I know it’s not as simple as just pulling it out but can someone explain why we can’t though?”
There are 2 types of armchair engineers.
The ones who sneer and say, "If they just <x> then it would be fixed because I know best" Those people are bores.
There are others who are just tossing ideas around: partly for amusement and partly because they enjoy thinking, "What would I do in this situation ...?"
I haven't seen too many bores in this thread.
I don't think this latter group _seriously_ thinks they know better than experts, and I have found the various ideas and counterarguments interesting to read.
For example I'd try to attach a two Raptor engines to the ship and blow it back to the water :)
Many likely problems: equipment avilability to do so, time it will take, debris falling off and from the operations, risk of capsizing, probably need to load pieces on barges/crane but canal is not much large
Maybe if you kill the ship it respawns at its port of origin?
Besides, billion dollar companies often miss things. Yes, they have the more relevant experts and much better data than we, but they have to content with internal and external politics and have fewer people throwing around ideas. Sometimes the answer is to "why haven't you done X" is simply "nobody with a voice to be heard had that idea". If billion dollar companies were the infallible giants you make them out to be then startups straight up couldn't work.
Or just tow it outside the environment...
For those who haven't seen this video... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m5qxZm_JqM
That said, the ones mentioned there don't pass the smell test.
Sounds like a lot of money, if GP's right?
That would still be expensive, but is it more expensive than blocking the canal?
I can't imagine that being a very quick thing to do.
Clearly demolition is one of the things to consider in this scenario, and is at least as realistic as the million-luftballons. It would also make for some fun conversation.
A smaller less stuck ship or barge you don't care very much about full of explosives.
And you don't need to destroy the whole thing, just shred and distribute the part that's in the canal enough that it's no longer an impediment to navigation. Sure you might be left with 30 big chunks but 30 big chunks can be picked up with conventional marine construction equipment. If the bulbous bow is still buried in the sand then whatever, you don't care.
We're talking about a Mont-Blanc sized explosion here. Definitively messy but with modern engineering I think you could whip up a directed blast that ensures the task is accomplished without unnecessarily digging a hole or some other dumb side effect.
Because then you'd still have to remove everything, but now you don't have one big, controllable system, but you have lots of pieces that will move in unpredictable ways.
The canal is shallow and narrow, and gravity isn't working in your favor here. A ship has a natural tendency to float (even if it currently isn't). Pieces of debris don't. You will have to remove all pieces that break off, one-by-one.
Like this: https://jalopnik.com/a-chain-just-cut-through-a-capsized-car...
No. Helicopters. 10 helis, 1 container/sortie, 10 sorties/hour = 10000 containers in 5 days.
IMHO if helis would even work (which is debatable and debated here), the optimistic estimate is that you could unload something like 20 containers per hour, 300 containers per day, so 30 days for the cargo. It seems plausible that you can dredge the banks and drag the ship out much quicker than that.
5 loading at a time, while the other 5 unloading on the ground - plenty of space as ship is 1300 feet long.
> doing that in the dark would simply not work
you flood the ship and the space around with light. Almost 30 years ago we did a night ship unload at an unprepared location - no issues.
>10 sorties/hour is also unrealistic
doing it with crane we did about 15+ - we weren't union operation though - we were paid for performance, not time :) and being young we were moving fast. With chopper not much different if weather is ok.
Among the many problems with this calculation is that shipping containers can't be freely subdivided and recombined, and can have a loaded weight over 30 tons.
EDIT: And to address the crossing edit:
> 10 helis, 1 container/sortie, 10 sorties/hour = 10000 containers in 5 days.
...and the heaviest-lift helicopters can't lift 30 tons.
Yes, the loss of the ship and all its cargo will be immense, but that seems to be dwarfed by the damage the blocked canal causes.
Turns out: the container ship __itself__ is the easiest way to move all of that debris out. And its already packed and loaded.
> the container ship __itself__ is the easiest way to move all of that debris out.
Well, evidently not if it is stuck.
...I mean, come on. After the last five years, it wouldn't even be the craziest thing to happen.
I admit, fallout could be a problem though, especially with all the other ships in close proximity.
A nuclear explosion probably would damage the canal itself. But its said that USS LSM-60's pieces were never found again...
Just 170 yards away was USS Arkansas, a battleship. The hull mostly survived (though was deformed and melted).
Like that old Mythbusters episode where they blow up a car twice
I think the Earth could use just ONE MORE nuclear crater..
Look at the aftermath of the Beirut explosion. The metal frame of the building the explosion happened in is still lying there.
The blast radius of an explosion scales with the cube root of the energy of the explosion. So if you want to make the hole twice as big, you need eight times as much explosives. To create a hole the size of a large container ship, you'll need a nuke. A pretty big one too. The Ever Given is 400m long, the crater left by the Trinity test (22kt) was 390m across.
Modern weapons can be very clean. :]