The newly re-opened Suez Canal -- the maritime short-cut between Europe and Asia -- is taking a convoy of ships a day as it works towards becoming fully operational for the first time since the June 1967 Middle East war.
GV & SV Soviet tanker Plyavinyas passing through canal (2 shots)
LV ZOOM OUT FROM Ruins of Bar Lev fortifications TO fishing boats passing along canal
LV Debris taken from canal on banks
LV & SV Greek tanker Hyperion passing through canal (3 shots)
LV & SV US warships pass through with sailors waving (5 shots)
GV Ships including British Strathasynt passing through canal
Initials BB/1940 BA/MR/BB/1950
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Background: The newly re-opened Suez Canal -- the maritime short-cut between Europe and Asia -- is taking a convoy of ships a day as it works towards becoming fully operational for the first time since the June 1967 Middle East war.
In the first week after re-opening, the Canal earned $US 1 million in tolls from the 91 ships which used it.
By two weeks' time three convoys of ships a day will use the canal.
The Suez Canal Authority is not worried about the low numbers of ships wanting to use the canal so far, its Chief Pilot Captain Kamal Hamza, told Visnews correspondent Bob Weaver.
Shipping companies need time to revise their schedules. Traffic is expected to build up next month, and -- in the meantime -- the Authority is training staff, (especially pilots), to handle the ships.
Egypt hopes the canal will earn $US 450 million in its first year.
SYNOPSIS: The Suez Canal has earned a million dollars and carried more than a hundred ships in the first ten days since re-opening. Most of the ships are Russian -- like this Soviet tanker -- or from Yugoslavia and China. The canal can take only one convoy of ships a day until it becomes fully operational again ... in about two weeks. Traffic has been lighter than expected, but shipping companies need time to revise their schedules. The canal Authority's chief pilot, Captain Kamal Hamza, told Visnews correspondent Bob Weaver he expects heavy traffic in the next month.
Debris and wreckage accumulated since the June 1967 Middle East war -- which closed the canal -- still ??? strewn along its bank.
The biggest ship to pass through the canal so far is the twenty-five-thousand ton Greek tanker Hyperion. But that's comparatively small. It can already take ships up to one-hundred-and-ten-thousand tons and will be developed over four years to accommodate three-hundred-thousand ton vessels.
American warships use the canal often, proof of the canal's value to the world's navies. Ships in this convoy include the destroyers Joseph Hewes and Trippe ...both homeward bound after long cruises. Russian naval vessels can use it as a short cut to bases abroad.