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International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) has warned that the role of expert witness should not be undertaken lightly and that all professionals acting in this capacity should be aware that they could face legal action for negligence.
In the latest issue of its online newsletter, The Wire, ITIC cites a case involving an explosion on board a yacht at a marina which resulted in an insurance claim being made against the owner. An expert appointed by the insurers to investigate the cause of the loss concluded that the explosion and fire were the result of a deliberate act by the owner.
The Swedish P&I Club has published a case study following serious damage caused to a ship’s main engine. As a consequence of poor communication water contaminated the lubrication oil causing severe damage to the engine.
Engineers on a bulk carrier were conducting scheduled maintenance on one of the ballast pumps. They had closed all the isolating valves to the ballast pump and put up notices about the job in the engine room and engine control room, but not on the bridge. They didn’t finish the job on the first day, so continued the next day.
The next day the Master asked an officer to print out the alarm list for the ballast water management system, prior to arriving at the next port as a port state inspection would take place. To get the list the officer had to start the ballast water management system, which he did.
The thirteen P&I Clubs which comprise the International Group between them provide marine liability cover for approximately 90% of the world’s ocean-going tonnage. In their recently released Annual Review 2017/18, Hugo Wynn-Williams, Chairman made the following statements in his introduction:
Tonnage up — reinsurance cost down
Another increase in Group-entered tonnage, and a fourth year of savings in the cost of the Group reinsurance purchase, albeit more modest than in recent years, were among the notable and welcome features of 2017/18 for
the Group clubs and their shipowner members.
World fleet growth continues to slow
World fleet growth continued to slow during 2017/18, from just under 4% to just under 3% as at July 2018, a far cry from the 8-9% growth rates experienced in 2010-12. Total Group-entered tonnage as at February 2018 had
increased to just over 1.209 billion GT, up from 1.16 billion GT a year earlier.
The London P&I Club together with Paul Willis Senior Associate at Hawkins have published a loss prevention guide regarding the risks of carrying coal cargoes. The report gives special consideration to the issues surrounding gas monitoring and ventilation.
The guide mentions that the management of coal cargoes and the proper use of gas detection equipment are vital to prevent coal fire claims. It also details the basic requirements regarding the installation, use and maintenance of gas detection devices and the different types of sensors involved in their operation.
The UK P&I Club has published helpful guidance to ensure safe bunkering operations. The Club said that bunkering operations are routine and critical, high risk operations which require to be carefully planned and performed.
Causes of bunker spills
Although the most of the bunker transfers are carried out without incident, very occasionally, things can and do go wrong. The UK Club notes that only a minority of cases do bunker spills occur because of failure of the hoses or pipelines, while the majority of spills result from a tank overflowing.
But these are not the only causes. Common causes of bunker spills can be summarised as follows: