Suez Canal unblocked: "We pulled it off!"

Grounded container vessel Ever Given successfully refloated in the Suez Canal by expert salvage team of Boskalis subsidiary SMIT Salvage

Papendrecht, 29 March 2021



Boskalis announces the successful salvage operation of the grounded 20,000 TEU container vessel Ever Given in the Suez Canal.

With a length of 400 meters and a width of nearly 60 meters this giant ship had been wedged in this vital shipping route since 23 March 2021 blocking all shipping traffic ever since.

Peter Berdowski, CEO Boskalis: "Shortly following the grounding of the Ever Given we were requested through SMIT Salvage to provide assistance with the salvage operation. I am excited to announce that our team of experts, working in close collaboration with the Suez Canal Authority, successfully refloated the Ever Given on 29 March at 15:05 hrs local time, thereby making free passage through the Suez Canal possible again. I'm extremely proud of the outstanding job done by the team on site as well as the many SMIT Salvage and Boskalis colleagues back home to complete this challenging operation under the watchful eye of the world. The time pressure to complete this operation was evident and unprecedented and the result is a true display of our unique capabilities as a dredging and marine services provider."

For the refloating of the 224,000-ton container vessel approximately 30,000 cubic meters of sand was dredged to help free the vessel and a total of eleven harbor tugs and two powerful seagoing tugs (Alp Guard and Carlo Magna) were deployed.

The vessel is towed to a location outside the channel for further inspection.


Image by Royal Boskalis Westminster NV



Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. is a leading global services provider operating in the dredging, maritime infrastructure and maritime services sectors. The company provides creative and innovative all-round solutions to infrastructural challenges in the maritime, coastal and delta regions of the world. With core activities such as coastal defense, riverbank protection and land reclamation Boskalis is able to provide adaptive and mitigating solutions to combat the effects of climate change, such as extreme weather conditions and rising sea levels, as well as delivering solutions for the increasing need for space in coastal and delta regions across the world.

The company facilitates the development of offshore energy infrastructure, including renewable wind energy. Boskalis is furthermore active in the construction and maintenance of ports, waterways, access channels and civil infrastructure, thus helping to facilitate trade flows and regional socio-economic development. In addition, Boskalis is a global marine salvage expert and has a number of strategic partnerships in harbor towage and terminal services (Keppel Smit Towage and Smit Lamnalco). With a versatile fleet of more than 700 vessels and floating equipment and 9,600 employees, including associates, Boskalis is creating new horizons around the world.

Royal Boskalis Westminster NV, press release