Posted on February 14, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
APL has declared General Average on its fire-stricken containership, APL Virginia.
London-based marine claims firm, WE Cox Claims Group, expects the cargo loss on the vessel to be significant, considering the amount of water that had to be pumped over several days in order to combat the fire.
“Further to our previous notice, we can now confirm the incident onboard APL Vancouver has been declared as General Average with Ardent instructed on Lloyd’s Open Form terms.
“The fire originated in Bay 7 with vague suggestions of a fuel leak as there was a request, presumably from the owners, for fuel leak handling equipment. The engine room is adjacent to Bay 7 further hinting at the potential cause of the fire.
Initially, experts expected the fire to burn for up to ten days however, various sources imply it has been distinguished or is at least under control / smoldering.
“Assuming the fire is extinguished, efforts have lasted at least six days therefore a significant quantity of extinguishing water will have been pumped onto the ship and cargo. The result is the cargo loss could be significant,” reads a statement from WE Cox Claims Group.
GA is a principle of maritime law where damages and salvage costs are shared amongst the cargo owners, in proportion to the value of the cargo.
This could result in a considerable amount when taking into account the overall value of the damaged cargo onboard the APL Virginia.
Reportedly, it is estimated that more than half of the containers onboard the fire-stricken vessel do not have adequate insurance in order to cover GA liability, and thus, the owners might have their goods auctioned in order to cover the GA costs.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that the vessel had over 4500 containers onboard at the time of the accident.
The fire onboard the APL Virginia originally started on January the 31st and raged for almost a full week before firefighting crews managed to put it under control.
Thankfully, the crew onboard the vessel are all safe and sound, and no pollution has resulted from the situation.
The APL Vancouver was cleared for departure on February the 12th and is en route to Singapore following an inspection by surveyors.
Image Courtesy of Marine Traffic