It’s happened again: The Suez Canal has been blocked for the second time around this year.
Ships were briefly blocked from entering the busy route on Thursday after a large ship became stuck in the northern section of the canal. The inconvenience prompted the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) to create a diversion while freeing the ship.
The SCA confirmed that the Coral Crystal, a Panama-flagged bulk carrier with a cargo of 43,000 tonnes, encountered a problem while headed southwards. It was shown to be moving around the speed of 12 knots and surrounded by other large ships.
Luckily, the problem was only temporary and the ship soon refloated after reports suggested it took just 15 minutes for tug boats dispatched to the site.
“It was a minor traffic issue that was resolved in less than an hour,” an official told The National newspaper, while tracking website MarineTraffic showed the ship moving again towards an eastern Sudan city of Port Sudan.
As it stands, the canal in Egypt has two channels due to Egyptian president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s multi-billion dollar infrastructure project in 2015.
The incident certainly felt like deja vu to many social media users after a similar event on March 23. The Ever Given, a 400m-long, 59m-wide vessel, became lodged sideways across Egypt’s narrow waterway after it was “hit by a sudden wind, causing the hull to deviate… and accidentally hit the bottom.”
This birthed weeks worth of entertaining memes which made March’s incident much more exciting to follow from start to finish. Unsurprisingly this time around, people were fully equipped and on the quest to revive and reuse the best reactions from March.
Naturally, Thursday’s incident prompted a frenzy of bigger and better reactions, and they certainly did not disappoint.
Thankfully for the Suez Canal and oncoming ships, Thursday’s incident only took an hour to resolve – unlike March’s crisis, which took a staggering six days to be unblocked. The log-jam left more than 350 vessels trapped at both ends of the canal, but thanks to social media, the Suez Canal became the next new meme-able moment.
Here are some of our favourites from March.
Suez Canal – the meme gift that keeps on giving.