06 AUG 2020
In the early morning hours of 23 March, the laden bulk carrier, KAAMI grounded in bad weather in the Little Minch channel between the islands of Skye and Lewis off Scotland. Gard insured the KAAMI for both P&I liability, and Hull & Machinery. Our authors, Gunnar Beisland and Påsan Vigerust handled the casualty and tell the story as their case went from salvage to wreck removal and, ultimately, sustainable recycling of the vessel and cargo.
23 JUL 2020
Soya beans are big business and Brazil has now become the world’s leading producer, surpassing the United States. We looked to consultant scientist, Dr Stephanie Heard for insight into carriage of soya beans in bulk between Brazil and China and some of the problems that may be encountered due to moisture content at loading.
There have been many grounding incidents in the waters within the Indonesian archipelago over the past few years and many have involved depth anomalies. Grounding incidents on charted obstructions are avoidable, but what about when obstructions such as shoals, reefs or rocks that are not charted? Through case studies we consider how such groundings occur and what can be done to minimize the risk of such incidents.
It was mid-May and the member’s vessel was enroute from Port Kelang, Malaysia to Xiamen, China when the crew noticed a monkey scampering on a container stack.
On this Day of the Seafarer, we stand with the IMO to call for universal designation of seafarers as key workers to enable crew rotation. Seafarers deserve respect and dignity for the essential work they do. Their physical and mental wellbeing is essential to safe vessel operations and they need to be able to sign-off ships to be repatriated to their home countries in the usual course of their employment.
15 JUN 2020
Collapse of on-deck container stacks represent a grave threat to crew and ship safety and to the environment. The shipping community and their insurers have suffered substantial financial losses during the last years as the number of container stack collapse cases resulting in loss of containers at sea is increasing both in terms of frequency and severity.
10 JUN 2020
Well before the novel coronavirus appeared on the horizon making life difficult for seafarers, Gard Claims Executive Osmund Johnsen happily accepted an invitation from Gard Member Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Skipsrederi (KGJS) to sail with the SKS MOSEL during a bunkering voyage from Las Palmas to Algeciras. He wrote about his experience for KGJS’s newsletter which we are pleased to republish. We thank KGJS and the crew members of the SKS Mosel for sharing the experience and hope that in the not too distant future, we will once again have the opportunity to visit aboard.
Regardless of whether a buyer purchases fuel directly from physical suppliers or via brokers or traders and whether sale is under a global framework agreement or ad hoc on a port by port basis, a common feature is that the seller’s terms generally prevail.
The COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing. It presents major challenges to seafarers and shipowners due to the lockdown of countries, travel restrictions, changes in local regulations, problems accessing healthcare ashore when needed, and worries if crewmembers develop COVID-19-like symptoms while at sea. In some countries and regions, the infection numbers are still rising while in others, the infection rate is declining with many countries and regions slowly opening to greater human interaction. One of the critical features in addressing the pandemic as well as easing lockdown has been testing for the disease. Gard receives many questions about the use of tests, and has sought the assistance and expertise of doctors at the Norwegian Centre for Maritime and Diving Medicine to help answer some of the questions.
In this article, we interview Torunn Biller White, Gard’s Chief Risk Officer and talk about how Gard manages risk and the methodology for identifying emerging risks in the medium and long term.
COVID – 19 lockdown and social distancing rules and recommendations have made traditional legal proceedings all but impossible. Rather than postpone court hearings, arbitrations and mediations, video streaming platforms have been pressed into service. Gard lawyers, Louis Shepherd and Fredrik Falck-Knutsen review the practices in various jurisdictions and comment concerning their own experiences with the technology.
The Jones Act, United States federal legislation enacted a century ago, provides significant remedies for those who can establish “seaman” status. Our personal injury specialist, Art Gribbin, takes us through the recent Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Sanchez v. Smart Fabricators of Texas, that further clarified the Jones Act requirements in the context of contracted work in the offshore industry.
The United States Supreme Court granted the application of industry groups, BIMCO, Intertanko and Intercargo to file an Amicus Curiae brief in the recently decided case Citgo Asphalt Refining Co. v. Frescati Shipping Co., Ltd., (Athos l). Amicus briefs are prepared by non-parties to the dispute in order to set out argument and legal authority relevant to the case under review. The lawyers representing BIMCO, Intertanko and Intercargo, Chris Nolan and Robert Denig of Holland and Knight LLC, share their advice to those negotiating charter parties subject to U.S. law when considering safe port and berth clauses. In this time of pandemic, the authors also consider the Supreme Court’s decision in the context of a Master’s implicit right to refuse a charterer’s order to enter a port the Master considers unsafe.
We are facing unprecedented worldwide lockdown and severe travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Several thousand seafarers have been asked to extend their contracts beyond their usual tour of duty. Kunal Pathak, Loss Prevention Manager in Gard’s Singapore office, writes about maintaining the mental wellness of the seafarers during the current challenging times. Kunal is a Master Mariner and has particular insight into life at sea as he sailed for twelve years on oil tankers and bulk carriers.
Last month, Gard was notified by several of our correspondents that they had received an unusual e-mail from our CEO asking for details about outstanding payments. Security Advisor, Eili Bjelkåsen, in our Technology and Security department tells the story. Knowing how fraudsters operate is key to understanding how to protect yourself and your company.
While the IMO has given shipowners and operators until 2021 to incorporate cyber risk into ships’ safety management systems, cyber criminals are already at work. Crises like the COVID-19 pandemic often lead malicious cyber actors to take advantage through various malicious methods.
The U.S. Supreme Court on March 30th issued its decision in Citgo Asphalt Refining Co. (‘Carco’), et al. v. Frescati Shipping Co., Ltd. et al. (the ‘Athos I’ case), affirming the Third Circuit Court of Appeals holding that CARCO as sub-charterer was responsible, via the ‘safe berth’ clause in its sub-charter, to the vessel owner to indemnify for all of the costs of a major pollution cleanup. The case is a cautionary tale of the wording of clauses which may apply to a party that is in the ‘chain’ of charter parties but was not an actual signatory to the contract containing the clause in question.
One of the frequent questions coming to Gard Defence Lawyers is whether the COVID-19 pandemic falls within the various charterparty force majeure clauses. We are grateful to Brian Perrott, partner with HFW, and his colleagues for sharing their views.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the maritime industry in previously unthinkable ways. Ports around the world are denying entry to certain vessels, travel restrictions have postponed crew changes, ships are taken out of service and crew have been laid off. These operational problems are forcing some owners and operators to consider placing vessels in lay-up.
24 MAR 2020
These days Gard employees are working remotely across our offices around the globe. Sandra Guiguet in our Hong Kong office shared her thoughts with Gard colleagues that may apply equally to our Members and clients as they too find themselves working remotely. We are pleased to share her advice.