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Hopes of reopening Suez Canal boosted by partial refloating of jammed ship

ISMAILIA, Egypt (Reuters) - A huge container ship blocking Egypt’s Suez Canal for nearly a week has been partially refloated, raising hopes that the busy waterway will soon be reopened for a big backlog of ships.

The 400-metre (430-yard) long Ever Given became jammed diagonally across a southern section of the canal in high winds early last Tuesday, halting traffic on the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said on Monday the vessel had been mostly straightened along the eastern bank of the canal and further tugging operations would resume once the tide rose later in the day.

After dredging and excavation over the weekend, rescue workers from the SCA and a team from Dutch firm Smit Salvage had been trying to free the ship using tug boats in the early hours of Monday, two marine and shipping sources said.

Around midday, tugs could be seen maneuvering around the ship, some with tow lines attached, churning the water beneath them.

Marine traffic through the canal will restart once the ship is directed to the lakes area - a wider section of the canal, the SCA said.

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