Suez Coffer Dam

Please discuss the merits of a 4-6 foot high coffer dam built around the Ever Given to lift her off the seabed.

Head pressure at 6 feet should be less than 3psi. I think this is very manageable engineering.

Likely the two walls of the canal will form 2 of the 4 needed walls for the coffer dam.


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I think they’re currently looking at the fastest method to free her. If you’re going to build her a new tub to float in, might as well dig a bypass canal around her and use the tailings to make your dam.

Personally I like the idea of offloading all the containers and leaving them on the desert in a pyramid stack.


I think a coffer dam of this scale would be very fast to deploy. Because 4 to 6 feet is very “shallow” when you think about it.

A kiddie pool is same depth.

Just need a skirt around the whole thing then start pumping water in.

Im thinking something made from pontoons or inflatables more than a rigid structure.

It would be a herculean effort to offload the ship because of the location.

Anything ‘fast to deploy’ would have to be there already, not create and ship across the world.

You’d have to build a wall the entire breadth and depth of the canal (plus 6 ft), twice, not sure how it goes on that side of the world but it takes a while to build a wall in the US…

It’s going to take a while anyway you try if just pulling the shit out of it while moving some of the dirt doesn’t work.

Water is heavy. 3 psi is a lot multiplied by the mass of water needed to float the ship.


If you allow bypass points it could work if you can get pumps on scene that can overpower the outflow.

It’s not that heavy. Are you saying 4 or 6 feet is too deep for a kiddy pool?

There are engineering problems with this but I think it’s easier than the dredging?

I think you may want to dust off the old physics textbook and take another gander, or start manufacturing 1500 ft x 700 ft x 6 ft kiddie pools and let me know how that goes.

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I like the cofferdam solution, but the reality is, it would take at least 2 months and millions of dollars to do. Have to do all the engineering design work, ship the materials there and do all the construction, just to free float the ship, then break it all down to open the canal.

You’d be better off unballasting as much as possible, and using airbags to lift, while also using a suction dredge to dig her out. You should be able to tie up a barge with a suction alongside and have that going around the clock.

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*patent pending

Doesn’t this assume the canal banks are high enough and strong enough to hold the water? I have no idea if this is so.

Canal banks in that area are 13’+ and generally cut slopes. The soils look to be a silty sand locally called mudstone, which is low permeability.