A Chinese-controlled supramax grounded in the Suez Canal early on Thursday but was swiftly unstuck by the Suez Canal Authority, Leth Agencies reported.

The 57,000-dwt Xin Hai Tong 23 (built 2010) “grounded in the Suez Canal at kilometre 159 at 0400 local time”, the agents said in a tweet.

As a result of the incident, four northbound vessels got stuck “in addition to the ordinary group, which was planned to enter the Suez Canal about 0600”, Leth tweeted.

However, the situation was resolved quickly. Just a few hours later, Leth said: “The Suez Canal Authority has successfully refloated M/V Xin Hai Tong 23 at 07:40hrs. The northbound convoy will enter at 09:30hrs.”

The Xin Hai Tong is listed under the ownership of China’s Bank of Communications and managed by Hong Kong-based Dai Hong Ocean Shipping Co.

Incidents in the Suez Canal, even minor ones, have been instantly raising global attention since the dramatic grounding two years ago of the 20,388-teu Ever Given (built 2018), which brought a large part of world trade to a standstill for almost a week.

The Ever Given grounded on 23 March 2021, blocking the canal for six days and becoming front-page news around the world.

In the latest development of that saga, a UK high court judge ruled last month that Dutch salvage company Smit was not bound by a pre-agreed salvage contract when it assisted in refloating the Ever Given.

The ruling opened the door for Smit to make a common law claim for its salvage services to the Ever Given under the 1989 International Convention on Salvage.