The soap opera called the Ever Given seems far from over.
The 400-meter-long mega-ship that secured itself into the media limelight in March remains impounded in Egypt with 20,000 containers and its entire crew on board.
More than a month after the ship’s release, many are asking, “What’s going on?”
As we know, the Ever Given was stranded in the Suez Canal for reasons that are still unclear.
Was it simply a product of strong winds, or was there human intervention?
What is certain is that it blocked for 6 days the passage through the shortest existing route between Europe and Asia, where about 15% of the world’s maritime traffic passes.
And that is why the estimated losses are in the millions. However, one of the points that have not yet been resolved is the value of the compensation.
The freighter is still detained in the Great Bitter Lake, in the middle of the waterway, together with its cargo of some 20,000 containers.
But pay attention to this fact: the 25 members of its crew are also still detained.
Yes, it sounds like a science fiction novel, but all this is real. And in fact, there are many issues in the background that have not yet been clarified.
In principle, at least on a superficial level, the reason for the failure to resume her course is due to the dispute over compensation.
Negotiations between the Canal authorities and the company that owns the ship have not crystallized.
Why is that? One of the reasons is the one we just mentioned: The investigations into the causes of the incident, which should help to determine responsibilities, are still open:
It is not clear what caused such an accident of stratospheric dimensions.
Indeed, there were strong winds on March 29.
Now, if the storm was so strong, why was it only that ship that went off course and not others?
For Jamil Sayegh, a former captain and maritime law specialist with experience in Suez Canal navigation, the human factor must indeed be taken into account.
In fact, if the ship had lost control and crashed into a coast, what does that have to do with the stern movement, which also turned and caused the other end of the ship to be on the other coast?
Speaking to The Guardian, former Captain Sayegh defended his theory by explaining that ships pass through the Suez Canal in convoys. None of the ships behind the Ever Given had similar problems.
Moreover, he added that ships passing through the Suez Canal are obliged to use Egyptian pilots to help them navigate the stretch.
That is why the hypothesis that a storm caused the event is flimsy, to say the least.
In this context, it seems almost impossible to reach a compensation agreement.
The Japanese owner of the ship, Shoei Kisen Kaisha, has received a claim from the Egyptian courts for some 900 million dollars in compensation for the losses inflicted.
This sum was deemed “extraordinarily large and largely unjustified” by the insurer covering third-party liabilities, UK Club.
The insurer made a counteroffer but was rejected.
And here is probably the biggest question mark in this whole scheme: what are the containers carrying?
It has come to our attention that the insurer, UK Club, said that it is indeed the insurer of the Ever Given for all kinds of third party liabilities, such as claims for obstructions or infrastructure problems, but has made it clear that it is not the insurer of the ship itself or the cargo.
So far, only one company of Polish origin has come forward and said it would take care of some of the 20,000 containers carrying cargo insured by them.
We insist this is what is known on the surface.
A lot of information has been circulating in recent weeks on alternative channels about the background of the jamming of the ship carrying the EverGreen containers.
It has been said that the stuck ship was used for the trafficking of minors.
The EverGreen was bound for the Netherlands, a nation that became a major scandal when it was discovered last year that hostages were being transported in sea containers.
According to reports, these criminal networks kidnap people and hold them hostage.
The shipping containers found by police in the Netherlands in 2020 were lined with soundproofing material and heat-insulating aluminum foil with handcuffs hanging from the ceiling and attached to the floor. Each was equipped with a camera mounted on one of its corners that encompassed a clear view of the entire cell.
There was a container, called a “treatment room,” which contained a dental chair with straps to attach arms to the armrests and handcuffs on the footrest.
Bags were also found containing pruning shears, saws, scalpels, pliers, handcuffs, finger cuffs, adhesive tape, ski masks, and black cotton bags with which the hostages’ heads are usually covered.
The truth is that as the days go by, the situation remains unresolved, and all eyes are now on the crew members. Who are they? What do they know? Do they have information about the cargo in the containers?
Little is known about these people. According to the BBC, the crew is from India.
And for the time being, the International Transport Workers’ Federation has already raised its voice against all these irregularities, warning that these 25 people who were on the ship “can no longer be held hostage.”
And no wonder, according to reports, the Ever Given crew members could be trapped on the ship for years.
Yes, you heard right. The crew could wait years before they can leave the ship.
In short, there are still many loose ends surrounding the Ever Given saga, and at this point, there is no doubt that something strange has happened.