The stars were quite literally aligned in the early hours this morning for a successful refloating of the giant CSCL Indian Ocean.
The 400 m long, 19,000 teu containership is now berthed at the Port of Hamburg, a week after it had run hard aground on the river Elbe while en route to the German port from Felixstowe.
After a number of attempts to shift it, authorities waited until early Tuesday morning for a spring tide caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and the moon to finally free the green hulled leviathan, one of the largest ships afloat today.
In the days leading up to the operation, thousands of tons of bunkers and ballast water had been taken off the ship and dredgers were deployed to deepen the channel alongside the stuck ship.
Overnight, a portion of the river was closed as 12 tugs were deployed to move the CSCL Indian Ocean with the spring tide bringing an important extra 1.2 m of water depth to the river.
The ship, which is believed to have lost its steering power in the run up to the accident, is now in port and is being inspected for any damage.
Ironically, the CSCL Indian Ocean is moored in Hamburg opposite the Hyundai Drive, another giant boxship that also ran into difficulty earlier this year when it hit a bouy.