Ever Given Grounding: combined 2D and 3D reconstruction of the incident

#EverGiven 2D plus 3D
VLCC Ever Given grounded in the Suez Canal. A strong southerly wind (between 6 and 7 BFT) plus so-called bank shear caused steering issues. This a combined 2D and 3D reconstruction of the incident based on recorded AIS data.


Just before the grounding the ship accelerated from 8 knots to 14 knots! Could be that they tried to get more pressure on the rudder. I would love to see the VDR’s rudder log.

Made Smart Group BV

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Great video!

This is about to become a textbook case on interaction between bank, shallow water, wind and speed effects.


Port side is already outside the channel at 0516.

It was “going south” for quite a while. I’m amazed they got as far as they did. It looks like a first year cadet in a simulator.

VLCC?! :thinking:

@Tupsis please note:

They were over 8 kts before the video begins. Looks like that first turn at the start of the video might have knocked the speed back to 8kts.

VLCS - Very Large Container Ship.

ALSO : Ultra Large Container Vessel (ULCV)

Yes, could be. Somehow the ship was out of control, maybe because of the wind pushing at that huge sail. It looks like a drunken sailor the morning after at the rudder. If the wind was the cause than this is bound to happen again soon with another VLCS.

The maximum SOG reading just before the grounding was 13.7 knots. I have to correct my calculations.

Almost certainly the wind. At the beginning of video you can see the difference between heading and COG (shown as a dotted line). At 1:23 the ship takes the leeway off and the ship sets down on those red buoys.

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Well, it’s a good thing you used a different acronym to avoid any confusion :wink:

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The Suez Canal in the old days. To the right is the Ismailia reporting station.

On board they must have known that they were in trouble. What can you do? One possibility is to stop the ship, slow down and try to maintain course parallel to the shore with the engine/rudder and thrusters. Let the ship slowly drift to the lee side of the canal until stopped by the slope. Then ask for a couple of tugs for the rest of the journey…

This isn’t entirely fiction as this is what I remember we have done, or something like that, when the Chief Engineer had an heart attack in the middle of the canal and had to be repatriated soonest. But we had no wind of importance. The really difficult part was to get him of the ship to the waiting ambulance with doctors ashore.

He seemed ok until the 3:00 mark. Looks like he was stuck in the east bank first. Would really like to see the wind data associated with the incident. Seems I missed it in the video.


When you are in a bank suction / cushion scenario … as it appears they were in this accident … one of the techniques to get out of trouble is to power away from this force and to give it a kick ahead with engine and use rudder accordingly. But this is supposed to be a very judicious amount and decreased back to a lower speed again as soon as possible. it appears they left the bigger bell on for too long as they continued to struggle along the canal. The video displays their speed staying at 12+ knots.

They started at around 8-9 knots initially which I assume is their Dead Slow Ahead Speed setting, though it could be a higher setting (Slow Ahead). In any case, that the ship soon went to a higher speed, indicates they were having problems right away. The prescribed speed during canal transit is 8-9 knots normally.

Leaving the ship’s speed at 12-13 knots was the second significant mistake. The first being the decision to transit in wind speed conditions that others considered too high. I’ve read elsewhere that some ship’s opted to NOT transit with that convoy and stayed at anchor.

I’ve been through here a few times (though many years ago) and one thing that makes it so miserable (trust me, there are MANY things that make the Suez Canal transit a miserable experience!) is that it is a long slow transit and if during the day it is hot, sweaty, and can’t end soon enough. I was on a ship with an air conditioning system that barely worked. Ugh.

In confined long channels like the Suez where the bank cushion and suction effects can be a continuous issue for Pilots to deal with nearly the entire length of the transit, especially if you are aboard a large deep draft loaded tanker or bulker; or a ULCS like the EVER GIVEN, this must really drain the Pilots (and Masters) both physically and mentally. I do NOT envy this job that must be done far more frequently today than ever before. With an increasing amount of this generation of ULCS being placed in service and more being built in the years ahead, this may likely occur again.

The two most well known manned model schools at Port Revel and Southampton have a significant portion of their lakes dedicated to the specific training of all Pilots/Masters in a mock up of the Suez Canal. In fact, I believe that is why the first school at Port Revel was actually built many years ago. To recreate the Suez transit in deep laden crude tankers and to train the company Shipmasters (one of the oil majors at the time). I’ve been to each of these schools twice. The training is incredible. Having experienced the transit of the Suez on their “models” and participated in more than a few groundings with my classmates, I am sympathetic to what the Pilot and EVER GIVEN crew went through that day.

I can’t begin to imagine their horror as the ship took a dive to starboard and came to a complete stop, from 12+ knots, in less than one ship length.


It already is!

Me driving a ship model.

A Houston Pilot driving while I am on the helm. Guy in th back is operating a tractor tug to assist as an escort tug.

Several different types of models, including box ships and cruise ships, a few different propulsion types too, are available to train on.