Maersk Essen

Details
Instruct Us
Name Maersk Essen
Date 16 January 2021
Year of Build 2010
Casualty type Cargo Overboard
Vessel Type Container Carrier - VT UCC
Report

----------UPDATE 5-------------

23 February 2021

* The MAERSK ESSEN departed Lazaro Cardenas late yesterday and is currently sailing for Los Angeles. Her current ETA is Thursday 25th February 2021.

* It is uncertain if Maersk has arranged for the immediate berthing of the MAERSK ESSEN or whether she will be required to wait outside, berthing delays at Los Angeles are currently around 8 days.

* We continue to have surveyors on standby at Los Angeles to attend to survey requirements that may be necessary at the port and/or upon delivery at final delivery destinations.

* A total of 178 containers were discharged from the MAERSK ESSEN. Of these around 50 containers are considered seaworthy. The remainder will require the cargoes to be cross stuffed into sound containers prior to forwarding to destination. We have surveyors on location in Lazaro Cardenas to supervise the cross stuffing operations.

* As per local reports, it would appear that none of the 178 discharged containers were loaded back onboard the MAERSK ESSEN before it sailed. To this end, we are liaising with Maersk and MSC regarding their intentions to ship these units to destination.

* Our appointed Nautical Expert has completed his inspection of the vessel and departed Mexico. As a result of the access agreement negotiated with Maersk, the Nautical Expert was able to inspect a number of locations onboard the vessel and to inspect some of the damaged lashing equipment in situ. The Expert's attendance will add to and compliment the work already being carried out, including analysing the weather data, the vessel's behaviour in the adverse weather conditions, the loaded condition of the vessel, ship design and the adequacy of the lashing and securing arrangements.

* W K Webster is already instructed in respect of a very significant amount of cargo on board or lost overboard and this is already delivering economies of scale to our clients in terms of third party costs. Should you be concerned with any cargo on board this serious casualty we would urge you to contact us as soon as possible so that we may also assist you.

----------UPDATE 4-------------

29 January 2021

* Having arrived at Lazaro Cardenas on the 26th January 2021, it is reported that the MAERSK ESSEN will berth at the APM Terminal on or around 30th January 2021.

* After initial inspections, it is anticipated that cargo operations to discharge and/or reposition fallen and/or damaged containers and to accurately account for what has been lost overboard will take a number of weeks to complete.

* Our team of surveyors are in place at Lazaro Cardenas to undertake surveys as cargo operations proceed and to ascertain the status of all the containers we represent. We are liaising with representatives of the vessel locally to agree a protocol for the inspection of containers and the procedures for re-loading containers, cross-stuffing cargoes into replacement containers, and in some cases for the probable disposal/salvage sale of cargo considered to be a total loss.

* We also have a nautical expert appointed who will attend on board as soon as the vessel berths at Lazaro Cardenas to investigate the cause of the incident. We have concluded an access agreement with lawyers representing Maersk regarding that investigation so that it may proceed smoothly.

* We also took the step of obtaining some unique drone footage (video and stills using ultra high definition camera technology) of the MAERSK ESSEN as it approached the Lazaro Cardenas anchorage and whilst at the anchorage. We believe that this is the only aerial footage showing the true condition of the container stacks on arrival at Lazaro Cardenas before any containers are disturbed. This footage is already being analysed by our appointed experts.

* Some of this drone footage had previously been uploaded to our website, but at Maersk's formal request this footage has now been removed from our website. However, it still serves as evidence and we are pleased to be able to provide it via a secure password protected link to Principals who have instructed us.

* Following cargo operations at Lazaro Cardenas the most likely scenario is that containers discharged ashore (or trans-loaded) will be re-loaded to the vessel for on-carriage to Los Angeles as originally intended. Due to significant port congestion at Los Angeles / Long Beach, Maersk has not ruled out transhipping to alternative vessels or possibly re-routing containers by rail. Whichever plan is ultimately adopted, it is clear that there will be significant delay to cargoes reaching their final destinations.

* Upon reaching Los Angeles or final delivery destinations, we anticipate that many containers affected by the collapse but which were outwardly sound or cross-stuffed to replacement containers will require further survey attendance. WKW has put in place resources to conduct such surveys using its in-house survey firm, ISA. This is, however, some way off, but will hopefully serve to provide reassurance that we are able to respond to Cargo Interests needs all the way through to delivery and devanning.

* Our Casualty Department will lead the recovery efforts, assisted by our appointed experts and utilising legal resources where necessary. To this end we are already in close dialogue with Maersk's lawyers to advance those recovery efforts, to seek disclosure of relevant evidence, consider limitation and jurisdictional issues etc.

* W K Webster is already instructed in respect of a very significant amount of cargo on board or lost overboard and this is already delivering economies of scale to our clients in terms of third party costs. Should you be concerned with any cargo on board this serious casualty we would urge you to contact us as soon as possible so that we may also assist you.

----------UPDATE 3-------------

27 January 2021

*We can report that the MAERSK ESSEN arrived at Lazaro Cardenas port anchorage as a port of refuge late on the 26th January 2021.

*It is understood that the vessel may not berth until 30th January whereupon cargo operations can commence. These operations are expected to take several weeks to complete given the complexity and dangers involved.

*Thereafter, the plans for on-carriage of cargo to the intended port of destination have not been clarified, but recent information suggest that following repairs, the vessel is likely to re-stow discharged containers and sail to Los Angeles as originally intended. It is probable, however, that some containers will be unsuitable for on-carriage and will require to be trans-loaded or dealt with locally.

*We have cargo surveyors, nautical experts and a legal presence in place and we are now examining what will be very complex factual and liability issues. We are currently finalising an access agreement with the vessel owners / Maersk for our appointed expert to attend on board the vessel to carry out investigations into the cause of the casualty and we expect that attendance to take place at Lazaro Cardenas shortly. Owners / Maersk have further confirmed to us that all relevant evidence will be retained and preserved.

*We continue to liaise with the vessel's representatives regarding the status of the containers to accurately determine which containers were lost overboard and the stowage positions of those remaining on board.

*W K Webster is already instructed in respect of a very significant amount of cargo on board or lost overboard and this is already delivering economies of scale to our clients in terms of third party costs. Should you be concerned with any cargo on board this serious casualty we would urge you to contact us as soon as possible so that we may also assist you.

 

----------UPDATE 2-------------

22 January 2021

*It is understood that Maersk has diverted the vessel to the port of Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico as a port of refuge for cargo operations. The vessels current eta is 27/29th January 2021.

*It is likely that this decision was prompted by the requirement for berth space for what is probably a prolonged cargo operation, it being noted that US West Coast terminals are already extremely busy.

*Surveyors have been instructed to attend in Mexico upon the vessel's arrival and we have experts instructed to investigate the cause of the incident.

*Legal resources have been retained in Mexico in addition to those in the US to enable us to provide a complete service to our clients' individual needs.

*Given that the vessel has now diverted to a port of refuge, it is possible that Shipowners may seek to declare general average in respect of permissible GA expenses such as port of refuge, storage and on forwarding costs. We are seeking clarification from Maersk on this particular point, albeit we think it remains unlikely in all the circumstances.

*We are seeking confirmation from Maersk that they intend to on forward cargo to Los Angeles as originally scheduled.

*In addition to potential general average and recovery issues arising in respect of lost and/or damaged cargo, there will be significant delays for all other cargoes which may therefore adversely affect any time sensitive or refrigerated cargoes on board.

*Should you be concerned with any cargo on board this serious casualty we would urge you to contact us as soon as possible so that we may assist you."
  

----------UPDATE-------------

21 January 2021

*It is understood that the vessel is due to arrive at Los Angeles Friday 22 January AM and events locally are being closely monitored to establish in particular where she will berth.

*The incident is reported to have occurred approximately 430 nautical miles north east of Hawaii on the 16th January in poor weather.

*Surveyors are ready to attend upon the vessel's arrival and we have experts instructed to investigate the cause of the incident.

*Legal resources have been retained in the US to enable us to provide a complete service to our clients' individual needs.

*It is considered that upon berthing, the operation to discharge affected containers will be complex and cargo interests can expect some delay. We are pressing the vessel's representatives to provide further information regarding the status of the containers affected by this incident and we will report further as additional information is obtained. Clearly, however, a significant number of containers have been lost overboard.

*We are liaising with the vessel's representatives regarding vessel access arrangements when possible and also in relation to issues of causation and the preservation of evidence.

*We are already instructed in respect of a significant amount of cargo loaded on board and this should allow us to deliver economies of scale to our clients in terms of third party costs.

*Should you be concerned with any cargo on board this serious casualty we would urge you to contact us as soon as possible so that we may assist you

 

------------ORIGINAL------------

* It has been reported that containership MAERSK ESSEN has lost a very significant number of containers overboard in the Pacific Ocean on 16 January 2021.

* The incident occurred whilst the vessel was on passage from Xiamen, China to the port of Los Angeles, USA, reportedly during severe weather.

* It is reported that up to 750 containers may have been lost overboard and it is therefore also very likely that some containers will have collapsed or been damaged in the affected stacks, but remain on board. These containers will need to be removed or repositioned.

* The vessel is understood to be continuing the voyage to Los Angeles where it is scheduled to arrive possibly as early as 22nd January, and WKW will make arrangements for surveyors to be in place in order to investigate the cause of the incident and to attend to any cargo surveys as may be necessary or possible.

* In addition to recovery issues arising in respect of lost and/or damaged cargo, the schedule for the MAERSK ESSEN beyond Los Angeles seems almost certain to be delayed, which may therefore also adversely affect any time sensitive or refrigerated cargoes on board.

* Should you insure any cargo stowed on board this vessel and require our assistance we would urge you to contact us as soon as possible so that we may take immediate steps to start protecting your position.

*Further updates will be distributed, but please also monitor the Casualty page of our website at: https://www.wkwebster.com/casualties.php .

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