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Early agreement reached in dispute over Suez Canal ship

12 Comments

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I can understand that the amount of money involved can make the negotiations complicated, but it is really hard to believe it takes this much time to solve an issue that should be covered in detail in the rules to be followed by anybody using the canal, after all it is not like this is some kind of completely unexpected situation.

The good news is that the day the crew can finally leave and go back to their homes is coming closer.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It's absolutely crazy to have a container ship that large, especially when going through the Suez Canal.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This will be the longest legal fight ever.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The ship was being operated by, and under the control of, Egyptian pilots who are required to be hired and are the only people allowed to control a ship in the canal. They are responsible.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Such a huge ship should not be allowed to enter the canal without being assisted by tug boats.

The canal is rather narrow, not straight in that part of the canal and rather shallow on both sides.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This will be the longest legal fight ever.

I doubt it. Look up something called the Mojave River Adjudication. There are attorneys on that case that will spend their entire legal careers from law school to retirement dealing with this case. There is another ground water adjudication case that has been going on in the neighboring Antelope Valley for over 20 years and the end is nowhere in sight. Yet another is brewing in the Indian Wells Valley that has the potential to drag on for decades. Remember, in California whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The ship was being operated by, and under the control of, Egyptian pilots who are required to be hired and are the only people allowed to control a ship in the canal. They are responsible.

Peter, please read the rules published by the Suez Canal Authority. They are detailed and explicit. Their canal pilots are advisory only. The captain of the ship and the ships owner are 100% responsible for the safe navigation of their ship through that canal and are 100% responsible for any damages that occur as a result actions or inactions of their ship. The canal rules very explicitly force any ship using the canal to hold the SCA and its employees harmless for any damage that occurs in the canal.

In a more general case, every major port has harbor pilots they bring out to ships entering port to advise the captain on navigating a particular port. They also aid the captain leaving port. They are usually transported to and from the ship by a harbor pilot boat of some sort, boarding and leaving by a rope ladder that makes the job one of the more dangerous ways to make a living. In no case that I am aware of is a harbor pilot ever liable for the safe transit of the ship. The ships captain always bears full responsibility for safe navigation in and out of ports.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Such a huge ship should not be allowed to enter the canal without being assisted by tug boats.

Tugs are always available to assist ships transiting the canal. The Captain of the Ever Given and the Maersk ship behind it did not request tugs to assist their transit. Most of the ships in front of Ever Given had tugs bow and stern. As is always the case in seafaring, the Captain bears full responsibility for the safety of the ship and its crew and thus is responsible for making the decision to use tugs or not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can understand that the amount of money involved can make the negotiations complicated, but it is really hard to believe it takes this much time to solve an issue that should be covered in detail in the rules to be followed by anybody using the canal, after all it is not like this is some kind of completely unexpected situation.

Every company with a container on that ship, the ships owners and the company that the ships owners paid to operate it all have attorneys involved and every party has to sign off on the deal. When the ship grounded the owners (not Evergreen who might be the only company not to take a hit from this since they are really only the freight forwarder) declared "General Average". That forces every party with freight on the ship to post bond in proportion to their "exposure" to cover the cost of the salvage. The dispute originates in the SCAs original ridiculously high payment demand combined with no documentation of the costs incurred to salvage the ship along with lost revenue while the canal was closed. Nobody was willing to pay a dime until SCA produced some bills showing what was paid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“Early agreement reached”?

It’s not early and it hasn’t been reached.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Early agreement reached”?

It’s not early and it hasn’t been reached.

In the text of the article the term "agreement in principle" is used and that is a better descriptor. The parties and their insurance companies have agreed to terms of the settlement but the actual documents have not been written, read by all the parties involved, agreed to and signed. If the parties are all acting in good faith then they really do have an agreement to release the ship to continue its journey. It is now a matter of formalizing it on paper.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Early agreement reached”?

It’s not early and it hasn’t been reached.

In the text of the article the term "agreement in principle" is used and that is a better descriptor. The parties and their insurance companies have agreed to terms of the settlement but the actual documents have not been written, read by all the parties involved, agreed to and signed. If the parties are all acting in good faith then they really do have an agreement to release the ship to continue its journey. It is now a matter of formalizing it on paper.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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