Full moon finally freed stranded ‘never-given’ boat from Suez Canal

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The rising tides of a full moon provided Ever Given the leeway he needed to escape from his stranded position in the Suez Canal, according to reports.

Since Tuesday March 23, the boat – owned by Taiwanese company Evergreen Marine – had been stuck in the side of the Suez Canal, possibly due to high winds, blocking crucial maritime traffic between Asia and Europe.

It is estimated that $ 9.6 billion in trade per day was blocked as a result.

Fortunately, however, traffic resumed yesterday, Monday, March 29, when the 1,300-foot-long vessel was finally freed by diligent rescue teams. But there was also another important player to thank:

The moon.

While a fleet of tugs had played a crucial role in securing the boat, a particularly strong tide – resulting from the gravitational effect of our giant natural satellite – was also vital.

The rising tide at noon helped push the stern of the ship, as the boats pulled forward, the bow of the ship eventually breaking free from the river bank.

“We were enormously helped by the strong ebb tide we had this afternoon,” Peter Berdowski, CEO of the Boskalis company which helped with the rescue efforts, told Dutch radio NPO 1.

“Indeed, you have the forces of nature pushing hard with you and they pushed harder than the two sea tugs could pull.”

However, it was not just any Moon that played a role, but a “supermoon” – when a Full Moon occurs at its closest point to Earth, associated with a Full Moon, where the alignment of the Sun also leads to more extreme tides. .

Tides are caused by the gravity of the Moon pulling the Earth towards it; As the Earth rotates, it “swells” towards the Moon, causing the seas to rise and fall.

But the Moon’s orbit around the Earth is not perfectly circular, oscillating between about 360,000 and 410,000 kilometers.

Although negligible, at its closest point, the Moon exerts a slightly stronger gravitational pull on Earth – known as a supermoon – and also appears slightly brighter in the sky.

And it was this event, the first super moon of 2021, that ultimately helped unleash Ever Given. The Moon was full on Sunday March 28, reaching its closest point (perigee) to Earth on Tuesday March 30.

“The rescue team placed their hopes on this week’s full moon, when, as of Sunday, water levels were expected to rise a foot and a half higher than normal high tides,” reported the Wall Street Journal.

The effect only lasted for a few days, but it was enough to free the boat and reopen the Suez Canal after it was stranded for a week.

As of Monday evening, traffic was circulating again along the canal. And while there are countless humans to thank, a piece of rock probably formed billions of years ago from our planet itself may also have played a pretty big role.



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