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“Dali” owners explain general average

The owners of the container ship “Dali”, which caused the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore to collapse, have now declared general average.

Six dead, a collapsed bridge and a 9,000 TEU container ship sitting on the bottom – the costs for the salvage and the follow-up costs after the fatal accident involving the “Dali” in Baltimore are likely to be enormous. The ship’s owner does not want to be left to bear the burden alone. [ds_preview]

While the salvage work is progressing in Baltimore following the bridge collapse that claimed six lives, something is also happening on the insurance side. The shipping company MSC, still an alliance partner of the “Dali” charterer Maersk, has announced in a customer advisory that the shipowners have made a general average declaration.

“No indication has yet been given as to when and where the vessel will be berthed and discharged, but this decision indicates that the owners anticipate that the salvage operations will incur large extraordinary costs for which they expect all salvaged parties to contribute in general average,” MSC said.

According to the appointed average adjuster Richards Hogg Lindley (RHL) from London, the owners intend to keep all containers under their control until safety arrangements have been made with the average adjusters, both for general average and salvage.

Under the principle of general average, all parties involved in a voyage must bear any losses jointly. The 9,962 TEU freighter “Dali” of the Synergy Group, which was sailing under charter to the Danish liner shipping company Maersk, ran into a pier of the Francis Scott Key Bridge early in the morning of 26 March, causing the bridge to collapse in the mouth of the Patapsco River shortly afterwards. Six people, construction workers on the bridge, died. Presumably, there was a total power failure on board the container ship shortly before the collision, affecting all ship systems including the propulsion and rudder.

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