ITIC warns expert witnesses to be on their guard and beware

ITIC says, “In addition to potential liabilities, even an ‘innocent’ expert can face substantial legal costs dealing with a claim. At best, only a proportion of these costs will ever be recovered.”
ITIC says, “In addition to potential liabilities, even an ‘innocent’ expert can face substantial legal costs dealing with a claim. At best, only a proportion of these costs will ever be recovered.”

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 insurers rejected the claim for a number of reasons, and the owner challenged the Continue reading “ITIC warns expert witnesses to be on their guard and beware”

Lack of communication led to serious main engine problems is key finding

Photo credit: Swedish P&I Club
Photo credit: Swedish P&I Club

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 bilge high level alarm was activated in the engine room. An oiler checked the bilges and could see Continue reading “Lack of communication led to serious main engine problems is key finding”

International Group of P&I Clubs Annual Review 2017/18 published

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.

Freight markets continue to challenge
The freight markets have experienced a modest upward trend in Continue reading “International Group of P&I Clubs Annual Review 2017/18 published”

Gas monitoring and ventilation recommendations to limit coal cargo risks published in new guidance document

Photo credit: London P&I Club
Photo credit: London P&I Club

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.

According to the report, the gas detection and monitoring equipment on board ships can vary from large units such as the Riken Keiki Continue reading “Gas monitoring and ventilation recommendations to limit coal cargo risks published in new guidance document”

How to conduct a safe bunkering operation

A number of safe bunkering measures are required for each bunkering operation. These can be divided into four stages and checks
A number of safe bunkering measures are required for each bunkering operation. These can be divided into four stages and checks

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:

– Improper set up of pipeline system valves: Potentially causing either overpressure, or flow of bunkers to an unintended location;
– Insufficient monitoring of tank levels during bunkering: All tanks, not only those Continue reading “How to conduct a safe bunkering operation”

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