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The "Ever Given" ship. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

Rescuers who dislodged the massive "Ever Given" ship from the Suez Canal on Monday got the aid of a supermoon, which raised water levels about 19 inches above normal tides and made it easier to pull the vessel, The Wall Street Journal reports.

How it works: Tides are usually higher during a full or new moon. But that effect was boosted by the year's first supermoon — which occurs when a full moon orbits closest to the Earth.

  • "When it became clear that tugboats alone wouldn’t be able to dislodge the Ever Given, the rescue effort began looking to the supermoon’s pull on the tides and how it might help free the stranded vessel," The Journal writes.
  • With the supermoon beginning Sunday, engineers had to work fast knowing that the higher-than-normal tides would only last a few days.

The backdrop: The lodged ship created a traffic jam in one of the world's most important passageways, wreaking havoc on global trade and resulting in one of the largest ship salvage operations in modern history.

  • The crew working to free the ship had used a dozen tugboats by Saturday night and had dug 60 feet deep around the ship at that point.
  • The team then got the help of a Dutch tugboat with the power to pull 285 metric tons, significantly more than the others working to pull the ship.
  • “We were working four days with our tugs,” Captain Wessam Hafez, a chief pilot on the canal, told WSJ. “When this big tug came, immediately the stern of the ship was released from the bank.”

Go deeper

Massive container ship freed from Suez Canal

A tugboat attempting to refloat the "Ever Given" in the Suez Canal on March 26. Photo: Samuel Mohsen/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Rescuers fully dislodged the "Ever Given" from the banks of the Suez Canal on Monday, sending the skyscraper-sized container ship on its way after six days of drama that paralyzed the vital shipping route, according to canal authorities.

Why it matters: The massive maritime traffic jam wreaked havoc on global trade and resulted in one of the largest ship salvage operations in modern history.

Updated Mar 29, 2021 - Economy & Business

Suez update: Ship finally freed

Rescue vessels work at the site of the stuck container ship Ever Given on the Suez Canal. Photo: Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa via Getty Images

Rescue teams on Monday fully freed the "Ever Given" container ship that's been stuck in the Suez Canal for a week, hours after partially refloating the skyscraper sized vessel.

Go deeper: Read the full story

Maersk: Suez impact on global trade could take months to unravel

Photo: AFP via Getty Images

Maersk, the world's largest container shipping company, said in an advisory on Monday that the "ripple effects" from the six-day blockage of the Suez Canal by a massive cargo ship has triggered a series of disruptions to global trade that could "take weeks, possibly months, to unravel."

The state of play: The Ever Given had been partially refloated as of Monday morning, but not yet fully dislodged. Maersk said that it's too early to say when the Suez will be cleared for operations again, but that it could take at least six days for its current queue of ships to pass through.