On Friday night, the Emma Mærsk, one of the world’s largest container ships, suffered flooding in the engine room and lost power as it was in the northern end of the Suez Canal. Tugs were dispatched and the 1,300 foot long 14,700 TEU container ship was safely towed to a berth in Port Said. Reports suggest that the flooding was caused by damage to a port side stern thruster. The ship is single screw with both bow and stern thrusters.
Maersk’s press officer, Michael Storgaard, is quoted as saying, “We know that the water came in through a side port propeller.Whether it was due to a foreign object such as a buoy or whether it is due to something else, we do not know yet. But it’s something we find out by getting some divers to the site to investigate the ship.”
Initial reports suggested that the container ship might sinking and there was concern that the Suez Canal might have been blocked by the ship. Maersk denied that the ship was ever in any danger of sinking. The approximately 13,500 containers reported to be on the ship are now being unloaded in Port Said. Maersk Line is the world’s largest container shipping company.