1,033 people sent us ideas on how to dislodge the Ever Given ship from the Suez Canal. Here are 19 of our favorite.

ever given ship freed suez canal
People gather as ship Ever Given, one of the world's largest container ships, is seen in Suez Canal, Egypt March 29, 2021.
  • A massive container ship was blocking the Suez canal for the better part of a week.
  • Crews successfully pulled it out of the side of the canal with tugboats after drudging sediment.
  • Many people thought more elaborate solutions would be better. Here, we catalogue several.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Last week, we laid an offer down on the table: Sure, send in your weird idea to dislodge the Ever Given container ship from the Suez Canal - what could go wrong?

I received 1,033 emails in the course of three days. Exactly 6% of them said something to the nature of "destroy the Ever Given."

The rest, from some of the finest engineering minds in the world, laid out comprehensive proposals to extricate the container ship from its unfortunate harbor.

Now clearly these methods will not be necessary given the successful efforts to remove the ship from the Suez on Monday.

However, like any skunkworks, it's our obligation for posterity to share the innovative approaches lest we find ourselves in a similar position yet again.

Here's a representative group of the ideas our pop-up maritime think tank provided. The world is forever in your debt, and my inbox is just as jammed as the Suez was before the big boat was finally dislodged.

Michael Scherr

Time for a mining engineer to show you boat nerds how this is done. when you are dealing with big things that have suction pressure you need more big things. suction pressure is what you feel when you step in mud with a boot. you need to get a fleet of backhoes down there to start trenching the mud and sediment away from that bow of the ship. you are going to need a lot and you are going to have to dispose of the spoil. once the suction pressure is released the tugs should be able to reflect the ship. all I see tho are boat nerds in the water. this is now a land based operation so let the mine engineers do mine engineering things.

Liam Neane

[Editor's note: Liam was kind enough to send in a fairly comprehensive PowerPoint, however, these two slides alone will give you the gist]

Screen Shot 2021 03 29 at 2.52.10 PM

Screen Shot 2021 03 29 at 2.52.33 PM

Nathan Anders

Salt will increase the density of the water under and around the Ever Given. This could make the vessel rise high enough to dislodge. A potentially stupendous amount of salt may have this effect. The salt would be added to the Suez Canal near the Ever Given, as much as needed

Margaret Garcia

Dig under the boat in multiple areas. This will clear way for some sort of machinery to go underneath the boat and through to the other side to possible pull/push/drag the boat. Or give room for any type of machinery to do anything else like possibly lifting it? I have attached some very poorly done diagrams.

IMG_6119

Richard Helke

Egypt has a bunch of obsolete Cold War-era Soviet fighter aircraft, most of which are probably broken. However, surely they can salvage a few working jet engines off of those broken aircraft. Then, you attach one to the front end of the ship and one to the back end, as indicated in the attached PowerPoint. Fire the engines briefly, enough to generate some thrust and get the ship floating back toward the centerline of the canal. Obviously, don't fire the engines too long, or else you'd just get the ship stuck in the opposite direction.

Screen Shot 2021 03 29 at 2.49.09 PM

Sinéad Baker, Insider news reporter

Put slippy banana skins in a u shape so the boat can easily be pulled out and back into the water!

IMG_6317

Bernard Deschner

Pump liquid nitrogen under the boat for about ¾ of the length( in the center of the length), whereas the Ice formation under the boat will lift it up enough to tug it (spin it free).

E. Christian Trejo

The weight of the boat is 200,000 tons. A MIL-Mi 26 Russian helicopter can lift 22 tons. You just need a perfectly synchronized flight of 9,000 helicopters. You better position the helicopters in different height levels and angles to avoid accidents

Gabriel P.

The Ever Given is clearly permanently stuck in the Suez. No way around that... unless we build a bridge around it...The Belgians have already rumbled how to do this, as shone in the picture of the Pont du Sart Aqueduct.

Suez

Our only recourse to open up the shipping artery is to build a similar bridge over the beached Ever Given. As you can see in the attached schematic, this would be easy, cheap, and probably completed by the end of the weekend. Any liability issues with the likely loss of shipping containers at the waterfall or balloon stages of the bridge would have already been faced by shipping lines, who frequently lose things overboard. I hope you and the Suez Authority find my design helpful.

Leigh Haugen

Soil Liquefaction via the sequential detonation of explosive charges buried in the ground on both sides along with simultaneous force applied on both sides via tugboats…

Sophie Rose

Freeze the boat to make the metal smaller. Then move the boat

Kim Steins

I think they should just take it apart, piece by piece, and then reassemble it somewhere else. Like the way you'd put the dean's car in his office

Charles Frederick

suez idea
suez idea
suez idea

Andy Kiersz, Insider Quantitative Editor

dig a new side canal around it (looks like mostly just desert over to the right of the boat, should be fine) and leave the boat there as a testament to the hubris of man

Andy Kiersz canal pitch

Samuel Hamilton McBride

I would simply tie a bunch of ropes to it and get a ton of people to physically drag the ship free, Fitzcarraldo style. I have to assume Werner Herzog is available to consult on this.

Jason Horwitz

Ok, here's my idea based on an engineering background and having read almost no details about the stuck boat.
1) Start pumping water from the canal INTO the boat's hull. This will greatly increase the weight of the boat and cause it to sink further into the mud/ dirt/ clay at the bottom of the canal. (Note this is worthless if the canal is just rock. Which it might be. Who knows?)

2) Then, pump all of that water back out, while also removing as much of the cargo as possible (they could use those cool heavy lift helicopters). This will now cause the boat to want to float up probably quite a good distance.
This would be the sinking/ floating equivalent of "jimmying" the boat free.

Jared Mukina

I don't know what has been tried nor do I know all the details about the situation, but here is my idea. Create two whirlpools on each side of the vessel. Have a means to control these whirlpools so that the vessel does not over correct and become wedged 180 degrees around on the other side. Might have to make some big whirlpools. How would these whirlpools be create? idk, but I have some ideas. My theory is the combined force between the two whirlpools on the vessel should allow it to become unwedged. These whirlpools might also create water level rise for the vessel to lift off the ground that has beached the Ever Given. If this sounds like a winner contact me for more details.

Tsunami Films

1. Inflatable Barricade retains water on both sides of the ship into a makeshift lock system.
2. Water Pump Boats (or Shore Water Pumps) water into barricaded lock.
3. Water lifts ship by increasing float.
4. Ship is pushed and pulled from sand.
5. Lock opens on one side to float ship away.

ArchimedesPrinciple_animation

Tim Woodard

this is probably really dumb and wouldn't work but just get a crapton of like tug boats and have them pull/push the sides in opposite directions as they continue to remove dirt and stuff

Far from being dumb, Tim, this is what they actually did, and successfully so. Congratulations to Tim Woodard for solving the Suez problem.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Comments are closed.