Bad Stowage & Unseaworthiness Issues: UK Admiralty Court Decision

MaritimeProfessional.com/Hill Dickinson
Friday, July 26, 2013

The recent Admiralty Court decision in the Eems Solar (Yuzhny Zavoid Metall Profil -v- Eems Berheerder B. V. the 'Eems Solar' 2013) has highlighted bad stowage and un-seaworthiness issues involving a cargo of steel coils shipped from China.

Hill Dickinson acted for the successful owners and their P&I insurers in defending a claim by Russian receivers for losses resulting from damage to steel coils due to cargo movement during the voyage.

The consignment of 411 steel coils was loaded at Xingang, China for Novorossiysk, Russia aboard the 'Eems Solar', a small 2,600 dwt general cargo ship with a crew of only five. This was the vessel’s maiden laden voyage following her delivery to owners from a shipyard in Vietnam.  As such she was carrying no spare lashing equipment.

The cargo was stowed by charterer’s appointed stevedores in some haste over a period of approximately seven hours during the early hours.  The Master was not entirely satisfied with the way the stevedores had secured the cargo without locking coils in the single tier rows, as recommended in the vessels cargo securing manual.

Given the practical difficulties in arranging for shore cranes to re-stow the coils, the Master had little choice but to instruct the stevedores to double lash the coils in the single tier rows.

The claimant bill of lading holders alleged that the damage was caused by the un-seaworthiness of the vessel, on the grounds that she had not been properly equipped with additional lashing material and because the crew had failed to carry out cargo inspections during the voyage and/or re-secure the cargo properly.

The claimant’s arguments were rejected by the court. It was accepted that the crew had carried out daily cargo inspections, weather permitting, notwithstanding the omission of any such record in the deck logs.  Furthermore the court, sensibly, considered it unrealistic when the vessel was rolling and having to adopt anti-piracy zone manoeuvres to expect the crew to enter into the hold in order to attempt to re-lash 4-5 ton steel coils. The proximate cause was the failure to use locking coils. The receiver’s claim failed because owners were not contractually responsible for loading and stowing the cargo.

The Admiralty Court’s sympathetic and pragmatic approach to safety at sea is to be welcomed.

Further details of the case here: http://www.hilldickinson.com/publications/marine,_trade_and_energy/2013/june/the_eems_solar_and_responsib.aspx

 

Maritime Reporter August 2013 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Kurdish Crude Oil Tankships: End-Game Still in Doubt

After a legal show-down in Texas this week, the outlook for a handful of tankers holding some $300 million worth of Kurdish oil is not looking good. Seemingly

Kenya Charges 9 Foreigners over Heroin Haul

Nine foreign nationals were charged in a Kenyan court on Thursday with trafficking the biggest ever single seizure of drugs at the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa.

Former MSC Manager Sentenced on Bribes Charges

Former Afloat Programs Manager at the United States Navy Military Sealift Command (MSC), Kenny E. Toy, was sentenced to 96 months in prison for receiving bribes, the U.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2245 sec (4 req/sec)