“The focus is now on dredging to remove sand and mud from around the port side of the vessel’s bow,” BSM said, adding that a special suction dredger will be used to move 2,000 cubic meters of sand and mud around the ship every hour.
High-capacity pumps may also be used to reduce water levels around parts of the 224,000-ton ship, which measures 400 meters (1,312 feet) long and 59 meters (193 feet) wide.
Up to 20,000 cubic meters (706,000 cubic feet) of sand in the canal need to be removed to free the gigantic container ship, according to the canal authorities.
Dredgers are hard at work removing sand and mud from the bow of the ship — and they will need to move between 15,000 to 20,000 cubic meters (530,000 to 706,000 cubic feet) of sand in order to reach a depth of 12 to 16 meters (39 to 52 feet), which could allow the ship to float, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said on Thursday. That’s approximately eight times the size of an Olympic swimming pool.