Tampa Bay Times

Suez Canal blockage not staged

- F A L S E Samantha Putterman, PolitiFact Read more rulings at PolitiFact. com

The statement

The ship that was stuck in the Suez Canal was a planned or staged event. Instagram posts,

March 29 The ruling

Egyptian authoritie­s successful­ly removed a 1,300foot cargo ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal and created a shipping traffic jam for days.

The shipping route that connects the Red Sea and Mediterran­ean Sea is critical for global trade, and the incident has launched a host of conspiracy theories, including one that maintains the entire thing was staged so that the “deep state” could explain away impending higher inflation.

“My hot take: the Suez Canal is the next false flag psyop to explain hyper inflation and the upcoming collapse of the global system,” a caption on Instagram reads.

The post features several other claims about the blockage being intentiona­l, with the first saying, “Well the deep state and their media have to sell us some bs story for whatever else they have planned next. I don’t buy the story. But I do believe they are doing something to deviously hurtful to the nation.”

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinforma­tion on its News Feed.

This was not a staged event. The Evergreen Line is the trade name for the five shipping companies owned by the Evergreen Group, a Taiwan shipping conglomera­te. The Ever Given ship, one of the largest ocean vessels in the world, got stuck in a bank of the canal on March 23 during a dust storm with high winds.

While a six-day blockage along the maritime route is rare, groundings are the most common cause of shipping incidents in the canal, with 25 in the past 10 years, according to global business insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE.

The strong winds are widely seen as a major factor in this incident. But the Washington Post reported that the Suez Canal Authority said the investigat­ion will not focus just on the weather, and that human and technical errors cannot be ruled out.

The incident received around-the-clock news coverage by countless media organizati­ons all over the world, and efforts to free the ship involved many people and dozens of organizati­ons.

The Evergreen Line released updates as the grounding situation unfolded, and on March 25 said it would “continue to coordinate with the shipowner and Suez Canal Authority to deal with the situation with the utmost urgency, ensuring the resumption of the voyage as soon as possible and to mitigate the effects of the incident.”

Crews used tugboats, large-capacity dredgers and high tides to excavate and pull the ship from the canal’s banks. The vessel was freed by aroundthe-clock digging (workers removed approximat­ely 30,000 cubic meters of sand) and tugs that pushed and pulled it into the middle of the channel.

Ever Given’s owner and insurers could face claims for loss of revenue and from other ships whose passage was disrupted, insurers and brokers told Reuters.

We rate this post False.

 ?? ©Maxar Technologi­es via Associated Press ?? A satellite image shows the 1,300-foot cargo ship Ever Given stuck in the Suez Canal in Egypt on March 28. The grounding of the vessel was not a staged event.
©Maxar Technologi­es via Associated Press A satellite image shows the 1,300-foot cargo ship Ever Given stuck in the Suez Canal in Egypt on March 28. The grounding of the vessel was not a staged event.
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 ?? POLITIFACT TRUTH-O-METERTM ??
POLITIFACT TRUTH-O-METERTM

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