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VIDEO: Collision course

When 1,000-plus-foot ships are navigating in tight quarters, the margin for error is minimal.

Such was the case Monday when two of the largest container ships in the world, the 1,095-foot German-flagged Colombo Express and the 1,095-foot Singaporean-flagged Maersk Tanjong, collided while transiting the Suez Canal.

Both vessels were able to continue their trips. Three containers were lost over the side from the Maersk Tanjong, but one has been recovered.

“According to preliminary findings, there are no injuries and no damage has been done to the environment. Both vessels were able to continue on. The exact course of events is currently being investigated,” reads a statement by Hapag-Lloyd, which owns the Maersk Tanjong.

According to the commercial maritime website gCaptain, AIS-tracked movement from both vessels indicates that “it appears the Colombo Express was attempting to overtake the Maersk Tanjong and when a left rudder was applied to come back to a parallel course, the rudder [went] hard left.”

Regardless of the cause, just as with a traffic accident on land, the collision caused delays in Suez traffic in both directions.