Ship stuck in Littlehampton harbour in scene reminiscent of Suez Canal blocking

A Littlehampton Harbour spokesperson said the ship had been “safely grounded”

An 80-metre ship has become stuck in a Sussex harbour, in scenes reminiscent of the Suez canal blocking where the ship Ever Given became stranded.

According to The Littlehampton Gazette, the vessel, which is called Elise, drifted out into the river after one of its mooring lines parted in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

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It was then secured and the ship is currently ‘safely grounded’, according to a Littlehampton Harbour spokesperson.

The Elise is currently stuck in Littlehampton Harbour (Eddie Mitchell)

The vessel will refloat when the tides rises, at which point it will be taken to a different berth at the harbour.

Unlike the Suez Canal - which was completely blocked by 400m vessel the Ever Given - the River Arun is still open for navigation, as there is sufficient space to navigate between the vessel and the west bank, according to the Harbour Board.

However a brief closure of the river between the Red Footbridge and Littlehampton Marina will be required at high water today.

No evidence of damage to the vessel

In a statement on Facebook, a Littlehampton Harbour spokesman said: “The 80 metre ship ELISE entered the harbour at 1.15am this morning. She was moored by 1.45am and discharge of her cargo commenced soon after.

“As the tide fell and she settled onto her mud berth, one of her mooring lines parted at 3.30am.

“The vessel’s stern then moved out approximately 30 metres into the river before coming to rest on the remaining mooring lines.

“Harbour tug ERICA was dispatched to ensure all was stable and harbour staff assisted in putting further lines put ashore.

“The vessel is currently safely grounded along her full length (only further out than usual) with sufficient lines ashore.

“There is no evidence of damage to the vessel. There has been no pollution or injuries.

“She will refloat on the rising tide and the intention is to then return her to an alternate berth at high water (around 1pm) to allow discharge to continue.

“The river currently remains open for the navigation of all craft because there is sufficient space to navigate between the vessel and the west bank.

“A brief closure of the river between the Red Footbridge and Littlehampton Marina will be required at high water today (in a similar to a normal shopping arrival or departure).

“Harbour users should as usual listen to VHF 71 for updates.”

What happened at the Suez Canal?

The Ever Given, run by Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine Corporation, became stuck in the vital Suez Canal waterway on March 23.Photos showed the ship’s bow touching the eastern wall of the canal, while its stern looked lodged against the western wall, in an event that experts said they had never seen before in the Suez Canal’s 150-year history.

On Monday the ship was freed after a flotilla of tugboats managed to wrench the bow of the skyscraper-sized Ever Given from the sandy back of the crucial waterway.

It is still not entirely clear what exactly caused the Ever Given to run aground and block off the canal, however some reports indicated that a wind might have blown it off course.