International Relations

Ship Gets Stuck in Suez Canal

Posted on in International Relations

On March 23, a large container ship called the Ever Given ran aground in the Suez Canal. Due to its position, the ship blocked the 300-meter-wide canal, thus preventing other ships from passing through. On March 29, nearly a week later, the ship was dislodged. The Suez Canal is a 120-mile man-made waterway that is very narrow and treacherous to navigate. While it remains unclear how the Ever Given ran ashore, it was likely a combination of factors, such as high winds, lack of visibility because of a sandstorm, and human error.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for “Ship Gets Stuck in Suez Canal"


“Suez Canal: Ever Given container ship shifted from shoreline”

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“Suez Canal blockage: Vessel ‘partially refloated’ as workers resume pulling maneuvers”

“How a full moon and a ‘huge lever’ helped free Ever Given from Suez canal”

“Suez Canal Crisis: Ship blocking canal may be due to human error”

“Suez Canal blockage shows vulnerability of world’s trade choke points”

“Suez Canal traffic jam blocks the world’s jugular vein”

“The cost of the Suez Canal blockage”


  • Writing: What is the strategic importance of the Suez Canal?
  • Debate: Should the U.S. and the international community provide more oversight concerning the Suez Canal?
  • Poll: Should those who are found at fault pay restitution?
  • Short Answer: What steps can be taken to avoid this from happening again?

Current events quiz:

1) The Suez Canal is owned and operated by which entity?

a. United Nations
b. Egypt
c. U.S.
d. Saudi Arabia

2) What percentage of global trade passes through the Suez Canal on a yearly basis?

a. 5%
b. 13%
c. 24%
d. 33%

3) Which of the following is false concerning how the Ever Given most likely ran ashore?

a. Human error
b. High winds
c. Terrorism
d. Sandstorm

4) The Suez Canal is a waterway that connects the Caspian to the Red sea. (T/F)

5) On average more than 50 ships pass through the Suez Canal every day. (T/F)

6) The Suez Canal was constructed in the 19th century and has been expanded over the last 150 years. (T/F)


1) B

2) B

3) C

4) False

5) True

6) True

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Featured Image Credit: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data [2021], processed by Pierre Markuse – Container Ship ‘Ever Given’ stuck in the Suez Canal, Egypt – March 24th, 2021

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