New Photos Show the Full Extent of the Damage to the Ever Given

A brave excavator operator works to dig out Ever Given's bow, March 2021 (SCA)

Published Nov 5, 2021 8:43 PM by Paul Benecki

Last month, the container ship Ever Given arrived at a shipyard in Qingdao, China for repairs to her bulbous bow, which was damaged when she ran aground in the Suez Canal in March. That infamous grounding delayed billions of dollars worth of trade for six long days, prompting a billion-dollar fine from the Suez Canal Authority (later negotiated down) and a brief backlog of supply-chain disruption. 

Shipping scholar Sal Mercogliano, associate professor of history at Campbell University, has obtained photos from the Ever Given's yard period showing the damage to the vessel in detail. The images show that the impact pushed the bottom of the bulbous bow upwards, inside the hull, folding the shell plating inwards. 

The repair plan is a full "nose job," cutting out and replacing the bulbous bow with newly-built steel sections - all the way back past the bow thrusters. The sections have already been pre-built in anticipation of the ship's arrival. 

Ever Given became a household name when she grounded in the Suez Canal in late March, blocking the busy waterway and interrupting the flow of east-west trade. Even after the Suez Canal Authority's dredgers and tugs freed her from the banks, the ship's ordeal was not over. The SCA obtained a court order to detain Ever Given, and the vessel, her cargo and her crew were stuck at anchor for months while her owners negotiated for her release. 

The parties ultimately settled for an undisclosed amount - rumored to be much less than the SCA's initial demand - and the Ever Given set sail for the Netherlands on July 7. She arrived in Rotterdam later that month to offload all of her cargo, then turned around to head for Qingdao for repairs. Her return trip through the Suez Canal was uneventful.