Deja Vu: Italian Tanker blocks Suez Canal after engine failure

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Six ships that had been stuck behind the Rumford have started to move as this morning’s latest traffic trouble in the Suez dissipates. The first vessel, Aframax crude tanker Minerva Nike, heading north through the canal at nearly 12 knots at around noon London time. The Rumford, meanwhile, has entered the Great Bitter Lake.

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Update (0700ET):┬áThe Italian tanker “is now operational and just resumed the Suez Canal Transit. The northbound convoy flow is back to normal,” according to an emailed note from Inchcape Shipping Services obtained by Bloomberg.

Little more than a week has passed since the Ever Given was successfully freed from a particularly narrow passage in Egypt’s Suez Canal, yet the canal is already struggling with another potential blockage Tuesday.

Shipping firm Sharaf Group reported that traffic in the Suez has been halted after another tanker was stricken with engine trouble. Data from tankertrackers.com showed the blockage in the northbound lane, along with a handful of tugboats dispatched to aid the ship.

Bloomberg identified the Italian tanker Rumford as the culprit, and quoted the Sharaf Shipping Agency saying in a note to clients that the ship “caused blocking for all vessels transiting” the canal.

The Suez Canal Authority “took immediate action and tried to remove the vessel form channel using their tugs” said Sharaf, which helps manage traffic in the waterway. Tanker “had a black out whilst she was transiting the SC within the northbound convoy” the SCA said. The blockage started at 1015 local time Tuesday.