Mini Digger to the Rescue
April 9, 2021
Heavy & Small Plant Hire, Plant Machinery, Mini Diggers, Dumpers, Skidsteers & Rollers, Ilford
It probably didn’t escape your attention recently when a huge container ship got stuck in Egypt’s Suez Canal. It was positioned in a way that caused a massive backlog of over 100 ships for around three days. The bow of the ship was touching the eastern wall and the stern was lodged against the western wall of the narrow canal. The Suez Canal is one of the most important shipping trade routes in the world. The man-made canal divides continental Africa from the Sinai Peninsula, and it’s reported that this is the first time this has happened in the canal’s 150 year history. The ship was transporting cargo between Asia and Europe, and is about a quarter mile long (400 meters) and weighs in at 200,000 tons.
You may be wondering what all this has to do with mini diggers! Well the fact is that initial efforts included authorities commissioning an excavator to clear the silt and sand. But the excavator [which was actually pretty big] looked like a teeny tiny toy, next to the giant ship. When the picture was released of the minuscule machine toiling away, it went viral. The internet lit up with hilarious memes that left people in stitches. Some people labelled the digger ‘me’ and the ship ‘my problems’.
The problem continued for almost a week, and cargo from crude oil to live animals were delayed as frantic efforts were made to refloat it. The Japanese owned vessel was finally freed, partly thanks to a very high tide, and an investigation into the incident has been launched by Egyptian authorities. The incident has cost the global economy billions, and theories about the cause abound. One theory is that high winds were responsible for blowing the ship off course. Although authorities say they haven’t ruled out the possibility of technical or human error.