ULCV Ever Given was accused by officials at the Suez Canal Authority of having been veering to starboard as it entered the canal, according to a Xinhua News Agency report. The SCA claimed the captain tried to pull the ship back to the centre and that he then accelerated when the ship’s response was too slow. The ship veered instead to port side, and then to starboard side again before slamming into the bank of the canal, according to Captain al-Sayed Sheisha, the chief investigator for the Suez Canal Authority, speaking on May 30th.
“The captain issued eight commands within 12 minutes as he tried to bring the ship back into alignment.”
“It is due to the captain’s repeated orders in a very short time,” Sayed Sheisha told reporters at the SCA’s headquarters in the Suez-Canal city of Ismailia on Sunday May 30th.
A lawyer for Japanese owner Shoei Kisen had previously blamed the SCA for allowing the ship to enter the canal during high winds and a sandstorm. Initial investigations into the accident had focused on a sudden gust of wind.
An appeals chamber at Ismailia Economic Court heard recordings showing disagreements between SCA pilots and its control centre over whether the ship should enter the canal.
Lawyers representing Shoei Kisen Kaisha said the authority shouldn’t have allowed the ship to enter the waterway and that the ship should have been accompanied by at least two tugs.
The case in the Ismailia Economic Court over the fate of the ship is continuing, but both parties have asked to adjourn the proceedings until June 20th.
The SCA has sent the results of its investigation to the International Maritime Organization, but said that it would not release the full report to the public during continuing negotiations over compensation.