6 April 2021
* The Ultra Large Container Vessel, EVER GIVEN, remains in the Great Bitter Lake following its successful refloating on the 29th March 2021.
* It is understood that certain repairs will need to be undertaken to the vessel's hull before it is permitted to continue its onward passage, particularly around the bow area. These repairs are not however thought to be significant.
* The Egyptian Authorities have also indicated in the media that compensation may be sought from the Shipowner in the region of USD1 billion, a number which includes Egypt's contribution to the salvage efforts. Whilst this looks to be a highly overstated figure, it may serve to create further delay to the vessel's departure from Suez and possibly also to increase significantly the total amount sought to be adjusted in General Average.
* We continue to discuss the General Average security requirements with the appointed Average Adjusters to ensure that our clients' position is adequately protected. It is noted that Average Bonds will not be collected from insured cargoes as part of the security collection exercise save in exceptional circumstances.
* A formal investigation into the cause of the grounding has been commenced by the Egyptian authorities and it is understood that a separate investigation will also be carried out by the Vessel's Panamanian Flag State. It is too early to comment in any meaningful way on the cause of the grounding, but our appointed nautical expert will be considering all of the relevant evidence in this respect.
* We now represent a significant amount of cargo on board the EVER GIVEN which will result in economies of scale in respect of any third party costs incurred. We would therefore recommend that you contact us as soon as possible if you are concerned with any cargo on board the vessel.
1 April 2021
GENERAL AVERAGE DECLARED - PLEASE READ
* Further to our previous Casualty Advices, it is now confirmed that the Owners of the Ultra Large Container Vessel, EVER GIVEN, have declared General Average.
* General Average security will now be required from all Cargo Interests prior to the delivery of their cargo and we will be able to assist in that regard. We have automated systems in place to aid the collection of documents and the provision of security and we are already in contact with the nominated Average Adjusters to discuss the security requirements.
* It is unclear at this stage if there will be a separate salvage claim from the Salvors, but we continue to carefully monitor developments in this respect.
* We also confirm having instructed an expert marine surveyor to investigate the cause of the grounding of the vessel so that we may evaluate the merits of any potential defences to contribution in GA that may be available to cargo interests.
* The vessel has been moved to the Great Bitter Lake for inspection, but it is not presently clear how long it will remain there before continuing its passage through the Suez Canal and onwards to ports of discharge.
* We very strongly recommend that you contact us urgently if you are concerned with any cargo stowed on board the EVER GIVEN in order that we may assist you with the necessary GA formalities and to take all other steps to protect your interests.
30 March 2021
* It has now been very widely reported that Ultra Large Container Vessel, EVER GIVEN was successfully refloated on 29 March 2021 with the assistance of 13 tugs and dredgers.
* The EVER GIVEN was then taken under tow towards Great Bitter Lake for further inspection.
* The salvage services rendered to the vessel were extensive but it is not yet clear whether any salvage claim against cargo interests will arise.
* There also remains a possibility that Owners may still declare General Average as a consequence of the extraordinary costs incurred and if so, General Average securities will need to be provided on behalf of all cargo on board prior to the delivery of cargoes.
* W K Webster is closely monitoring the situation in these respects.
* It is anticipated that passage of the Suez Canal by vessels whose transit of the Canal was previously prevented will resume shortly on a "first arrived, first served" basis. However, there are reported to be approximately 367 vessels waiting to transit the Canal in both directions. Consequently, it is likely to take a number of days to clear the backlog of vessels.
* Recovery issues may arise in respect of any deterioration of temperature sensitive cargo and contractual issues may arise in respect of time sensitive cargo as a consequence of the prolongation of the voyage of EVER GIVEN and other vessels whose passage of the Suez Canal has been delayed by this incident.
* We recommend that you contact us should you be concerned with any cargo so affected so that we may assist you.
25 March 2021
* It is widely reported that Ultra Large Container Vessel, EVER GIVEN remains aground in the southern section of the Suez Canal and still blocks the passage of the Canal by other vessels, in both northerly and southerly directions.
* Various attempts to refloat the vessel have proved unsuccessful to date.
* Professional salvors have now been appointed to assist the refloating operation. It is reported that 9 tugs are currently deployed to assist the vessel and that excavators and dredgers are employed to dig the vessel out from the banks of the Canal.
* Early reports of the cause of the grounding suggested that the vessel may have experienced a blackout prior to the grounding, but Managers of the vessel advise that early investigations rule out any mechanical or engine failure as being the cause of the grounding. They cite that the vessel was affected by strong winds affecting the region at the time of the grounding.
* It is currently unclear whether salvage services will be rendered to the vessel under LOF terms, or if shipowners will declare General Average in light of the extraordinary expenses incurred for the common safety of the interests to the maritime adventure.
* If salvage services are rendered under LOF terms, Salvage security will be demanded from a source in the UK and W K Webster may be able to assist. Security provided by WKW is acceptable to the Council of Lloyd's and widely preferred by professional Salvors.
* If salvage services are rendered under commercial terms, shipowners may elect to declare General Average. In that case, GA security may be required from all Cargo Interests prior to the delivery of their cargo and we are also likely to be able to assist in that regard.
* In addition, it is reported that approximately 185 other vessels are currently amassed in and around the Suez Canal awaiting passage of the Canal, although we now understand that the Suez Canal Authority are diverting other vessels to an older channel of the Canal to bypass EVER GIVEN to keep traffic flowing between waiting areas as best possible.
* It is possible that the prolongation of the voyages of EVER GIVEN and those vessels which are currently prevented from transiting the Canal may give rise to Recovery issues in respect of any deterioration of temperature sensitive cargo stowed on board and contractual issues may arise in respect of any time sensitive cargo as a result of any prolonged delay in the prosecution of the vessels' voyages.
* We therefore recommend that you contact us urgently if you are concerned with any cargo stowed on board EVER GIVEN, or any other vessel whose passage of the Suez Canal is presently prevented as a result of this incident, in order that we may start taking steps to protect your interests.
24 March 2021
* Further to our initial report below, we have received the following updated information concerning the interruption of the voyage of Ultra Large Container Ship, EVER GIVEN:
* It is now reported that the EVER GIVEN ran hard aground at approximately 06.00 hours (UTC) on 23 March 2021, shortly after entering the Suez Canal in a northbound convoy. Vessel traffic is reportedly blocked in both directions as a result of the grounding.
* Tugs are understood to be providing assistance to attempt to refloat the vessel.
* In light of the updated information, General Average / Salvage issues may now be more likely.
* It is currently unclear whether and to what extent the vessel has suffered hull bottom damage and how this may impact the further prosecution of the voyage assuming the vessel is successfully refloated.
*Further information will be provided as the situation unfolds, but if you insure cargo on board this vessel, please make contact as soon as possible so that we may assist you.
* We have received reports that Ultra Large Container Ship, EVER GIVEN, with a carrying capacity of more than 20,000 TEU containers, experienced a machinery failure and came to a stop at the Km 151 mark whilst transiting the Suez Canal in the northbound convoy on 23 March 2021.
*It is reported that the vessel is blocking following vessels from passing through the canal.
* We are urgently investigating the circumstances of this incident, but it is possible that General Average / Salvage / Recovery issues and associated recovery issues may arise.
* We recommend that you contact us urgently if you insure any cargo on board this vessel and require our assistance.