FACT CHECK: Did Arab News Report That A Specific Female Captain Was Involved In The Suez Canal Incident?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows an Arab News article with the headline: “Cargo ship crashes into Suez canal. First female Arab Lloyd captain involved in incident.”

Verdict: False

Arab News did not publish an article with that headline. The pictured woman, an Egyptian sea captain who said she works on a boat owned by an Egyptian government-affiliated entity, has refuted claims she was involved in the recent Suez Canal incident.

Fact Check:

The Ever Given, a 224,000-ton cargo vessel, became stuck in the Suez Canal on Tuesday, preventing other cargo ships from reaching their destinations, CNN reported. The company assigned to help free the vessel said it could take days or even weeks to do so, according to The New York Times.

Amid efforts to move the vessel, an image that appears to show an Arab News article bearing a headline about a specific female captain being involved in the incident has circulated online. The image includes a photo of Egyptian sea captain Marwa Elselehdar.

The alleged Arab News headline is not real, however. Check Your Fact didn’t find any matches for the headline in a search of the Arab News website. There is also no record of the article on Arab News’ Facebook or Twitter accounts. (RELATED: Image Falsely Claims The Clinton Foundation Used A Ship To Traffic Children)

The image appears to be a doctored version of a real March 20 Arab News article titled “Marwa Elselehdar: Egypt’s first female sea captain is riding waves of success.” The article details her journey of becoming a sea captain and includes the same photo of Elselehdar that can be seen in the Facebook image.

Elselehdar said she currently works on a boat owned by the Egyptian Authority for Maritime Safety, an Egyptian government-affiliated entity, according to Arab News. The Japanese company Shoei Kisen Kaisha owns the Ever Given, and the ship is operated by the Taiwanese company Evergreen Marine, CNN reported.

Elselehdar on Instagram refuted claims that she was involved in the Ever Given becoming stuck in the Suez Canal, Observador reported.

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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