Ever Given Container Ship - AMI Marine Ltd

The ‘Ever Given’ – a lesson in prevention and using the right equipment!

The Suez Canal is a vital conduit for global trade, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea and offering an efficient and cost-effective transportation route between the East and West. The artificial canal showcases brilliant engineering. It travels from Port Said (Mediterranean Sea) to Suez.

This trade route, known as the Suez Canal, opened in 1869 and revolutionised shipping by connecting the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, providing a shortcut between the North Atlantic and the Indian Ocean.


In 2021, the ‘Ever Given’ ship got stuck in the Suez Canal, causing tension in the shipping industry and capturing the world’s attention.

On March 21st, 2021, the vessel controlled by two pilots became stuck. According to the initial reports, the incident occurred due to intense winds and a sandstorm. However, the longer she stayed wedged in the sand, the more the world argued.

Ever Given, Suez, Waterway, Blockage., Effort, To,Refloat, Wedged, Container, Cargo, Ship. AMI MarineWhat happened, and how did she get stuck?

The ‘Ever Given’ ship is one of the longest container carriers in the world, measuring a massive 400 metres and weighing approximately 221,000 tons! Her size and weight meant releasing her took six days! Lloyds List has estimated that her time on the Suez Canal bank cost the international shipping industry about $9.6 Billion!


At first, the cause of her grounding was thought to be the weather conditions. However, as time passed and the expenses started piling up, multiple parties began scrutinising the situation, trying to identify who was at fault. According to reports, the two pilots steering the vessel argued in Arabic about the best actions to take in response to the weather. The Indian crew was left unable to understand the pilots, leading to confusion on the bridge.


The lack of clear communication, differences in options, and terrible weather conditions were compounded by the fact that ‘Ever Given’ had no tugs and was reportedly moving too fast. 

As the blockage continued, hundreds of ships queued up, waiting to pass through the canal, leading to a slowdown in the international shipping and logistics industry. Some estimates are that it cost about $400 million in cargo every hour!

How it unfolded!

While the pilots argued in an unfamiliar language, the crew received incorrect instructions: a ‘hard helm’ order and not a ‘course steer’. Ultimately the vessel lost the ability to manoeuvre due to high wind speeds and ‘bank sucking’.


When navigating through narrow waters, ships must move close to shore and other structures due to limited space. The shallow water and narrow channel sides affect the ship’s navigation.

These effects can result in errors during manoeuvring, ultimately leading to collisions or grounding. Any vessel, regardless of size, is heavily impacted by hydrodynamic effects when navigating through restricted waterways.


Evidence given during the investigation into the event stated that “as the windswept ship veered from one direction to another, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) lead pilot and helmsman attempted to compensate by steering and increasing speed.”

How could SMIDS Pro from AMI Marine have helped to prevent this incident?HOME-PAGE-Product-Images-03-SMIDS-600x480

Ultimately, the Captain, under the guidance of the PILOT, is responsible for decision-making and monitoring of the vessel’s movements to prevent incidents such as this grounding. Vessel movements are measured using the Speed Log, ECDIS, etc. AMI Marine has developed a SMIDS Pro; this new cutting-edge technology collates vessel movement readings (from navigation systems) into one source, clearly indicating the exact vessel movements. This clear and accurate real-time information gives brilliant control to the ship’s crew; therefore, they can take action BEFORE a vessel is grounded or collides.


If the SMIDS Pro had been installed on the ‘Ever Given’, it would have shown the real time ship’s position and movement within the water. The SMIDS Pro would also show which way the bow and stern were moving and if it was going too quickly or otherwise. With detailed SMIDS Pro data being displayed, the Captain and Pilots would have understood the situation and been able to take the corrective action required to avoid this incident. The benefits are immense, and in this case, SMIDS Pro may have helped to remove the need for disagreement and allowed time for corrections to be made long before the grounding could have happened.  

Human error!

It is a fact that people can make mistakes, and human error is an inevitable occurrence. However, maritime accidents and incidents like the ‘Ever Given’ grounding can be avoided with precise monitoring of vessel movement. Let’s strive for a safer maritime industry by introducing new systems, like the SMIDS Pro, that assist vessel crews to keep vessels safe. 

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