* LAURA MAERSK was safely berthed at APM Terminal at the Port of New York on 13 June 2020.
* As previously reported, It is possible that GA / Salvage issues may arise as a result of the casualty, which in turn could lead to potential recovery aspects.
* We have surveyors on standby to attend and may be able to offer some economies of scale in terms of third party costs.
* Should you insure any cargo and require our assistance we recommend you contact us as soon as possible so that we may take immediate steps to protect your position
Further to our previous Advices, LAURA MAERSK continues its passage under tow towards Newark port and is currently some distance off Atlantic City, New Jersey.
It is reported that cargo on board the vessel remains intact and that cargo will be transferred to a replacement vessel, LICA MAERSK, at Newark for on-carriage to destination ports. It is reported that LICA MAERSK is expected to arrive at Newark on Saturday and may depart on Sunday after the transhipment operation.
According to the vessel's operator, Maersk, there may be a delay of approximately a week in the delivery schedule of cargo. It is therefore possible that deterioration may occur to temperature / time sensitive cargo and claims for consequential damages could arise as a result of any delay in handling any cargo subject to contractually-agreed delivery or shipment dates.
It has been suggested in some quarters that it remains possible that General Average will be declared in which case, GA security may be required to be provided by all cargo interests prior to delivery of their cargo.
Salvage security may also be required to be provided by a source in the UK prior to or on completion of the salvage services rendered to the vessel.
We have surveyors on standby to attend as required and remain ready to assist with the provision of any security that may be required to be provided on behalf of cargo interests and to protect your interests in respect of any Recovery issues that may arise.
We therefore recommend that you contact us urgently if you are concerned with any cargo on board this vessel so that we can immediately start taking steps to protect your interests.
It is reported that the explosion on board LAURA MAERSK on 4 June 2020 was caused by a severe turbocharger breakdown in the engine room according to the vessel's operator, Maersk.
The explosion and subsequent fire in the engine room caused the vessel to be left without power and adrift.
The vessel has, however, now been reached by a tug and is currently proceeding under tow towards Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal, New Jersey, USA. The vessel is expected to reach port on 11 June.
Whilst there are so far no reports of any cargo having been affected by the incident, clearly the vessel's schedule has been disrupted and it is understood that Maersk are evaluating options for the continued passage of the cargo to destination.
Whilst the position is still a fluid one, it remains entirely possible that General Average / Salvage / Recovery issues will arise and we stand ready to assist in relation to all aspects arising as a result of this casualty, including in relation to the provision of General Average and/or Salvage security, as may be necessary.
Undoubtedly, cargo schedules will be affected and cargo interests can now expect to receive their cargoes later than originally envisioned with the possibility of losses and/or contractual commitments being missed.
It will be vital to investigate in detail the cause of the explosion as this will be important in evaluating whether the carriers are afforded a defence to any cargo losses, salvage indemnity claims or whether cargo interests are liable to contribute in general average, if declared. With this in mind we already have experienced cargo surveyors and marine engineers on standby to investigate.
We continue to recommend that you contact us urgently if you are concerned with any cargo on board this vessel so that we can immediately start taking steps to protect your interests.
* LAURA MAERSK experienced an explosion and fire in the engine room in a position approximately 275 nautical miles off Ocean City, Maryland on 4 June 2020.
* The vessel was left disabled and drifting as a result of the explosion.
* A crew member was injured and later transferred from the vessel to a hospital in Norfolk, Virginia by a USCG helicopter.
* It is reported that a tug is currently en route to assist the vessel with an ETA of 8 June 2020.
* Reports indicate that cargo onboard the vessel remains intact.
* Nevertheless, Salvage Security may 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 Lloyds and is widely preferred by professional Salvors.
* In addition, if General Average is declared, General Average security may also be required from all Cargo Interests prior to the delivery of their cargo and we are likely to be able to assist in that regard subject to certain terms and conditions.
* There is also the risk that perishable or temperature controlled containers and cargoes could be affected by this incident together with the subsequent delays to the vessel's schedule.
* Should you insure any cargo on board this vessel we would recommend that you contact us urgently so that we may immediately take steps to protect your interests.