The Slatest

Good News: Our Children Have Some Terrific Ideas for How to Get the Big Ol’ Boat Unstuck From the Suez Canal

A child's hand gently pulling a newspaper boat out of a gutter.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Kryssia Campos/Getty Images Plus and Prostock-Studio/iStock/Getty Images Plus.

Max, 12: “Just turn it.”

Sam, 10: “Just straighten it out.”

Alex, 12: “Just turn the wheel to the left.”

Nina, 8: “What’s it stuck on, sand? They should move the sand.”

Theo, 6: “They should get giant oars and row it.”

Owen, 5: “Just get a crane to lift it up. Did they call the crane to lift it up?!”

Teddy, 4: “They need a crane and a rope and a ramp and a car. The car will run on the ramp and cut the rope and land on the boat with a crash. This will bump the boat back into the sea. If that doesn’t work, we could just add another car. Double force!!”


Harper, 13: “Here’s what I think they should do. They should get everyone in Egypt, and everyone brings their own rope, and they tie all the ropes along the side of the boat, and everyone pulls it as hard as they can. If we get all the people in Egypt, that weight can turn it and then they can steer the boat.”


Oliver, 6: “I would just push the back until it was free and could float away. I’ve seen things like this in my life. Like sticks in the creek.”

Lyra, 15: “I think they should force everyone in the boat to undergo intense, rigorous training until one of them develops psychic powers from the stress, and then he’ll snap and levitate the boat out. I can’t think of any possible way that would backfire.”


Henry, 8: “They need to start with blowing up the land that the boat is stuck on, without hurting the boat. Like little explosions. The next thing they need are a bunch of helicopters with winches on the bottom. They should attach lines to the front and the back of the boat to the helicopters. Then the helicopters will fly in opposite directions—just a little—so the boat turns free. Oh. First you should rescue the people. Always rescue the people first.”

Sopher, 15: “You know how in Rogue One they had the hammerhead spaceship fly into the Star Destroyer and move it with that little ship’s force? That’s what they have to do, with a fleet of small sailboats.”

Hugo, 5: “Cut it!” [“Cut what?”] “The corner of the boat. Cut it off.”

Dominic, 9: “Push it!” [“Push it with what?”] “I don’t know. Get a giant hunk of metal. Get a bunch of pistons.”

Thomas, 4, while playing with a small toy car: “Tie the boat to my car with a string. The car will pull out the boat.”

Previously in the big ol’ boat: A Big Ol’ Boat Got Stuck in the Suez Canal