Ever Given: Egypt seeks $1B compensation from owner of container ship that blocked Suez canal for 6 days
Egypt is seeking a staggering $1 billion compensation from the company that owns the giant container ship which blocked the Suez Canal, thus blocking the busiest trade route by sea for many days.
The owners, Evergreen Marine Corp, are expected to face additional claims for compensation from the 400 odd ships that faced delays by 6 days when Ever Given was stuck in the canal. Ossama Rabei, the Suez Canal Authority chief Lt General, said the compensation was being sought to cover losses from transit fees and the cost of dredging and tugboat activity to get the ship unstuck.
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It will also be used in repairing the damage caused to the canal. Rabei said: "This is the right of the country. It should get its due." It was also revealed that the captain of Ever Given was also asked to handover the black box and other documents required to investigate the cause behind the ship getting stuck in the canal in the first place.
The ship will not be allowed to continue its journey to the Dutch port of Rotterdam until the probe is completed. “The overall investigation is continuing and BSM continue to give full cooperation; the vessel's hull is undergoing an inspection with the aid of divers," said the ship's crew managers Bernard Schulte Management.
In a statement to The Sun, they also added, “The ship itself remains safely moored at Great Bitter Lake and the crew remain on board in good health and spirits. BSM as the vessel managers have not received any communications about compensation claims from any party.”
On March 23, the ship, which is Panamanian-flagged, Japanese-owned, Taiwanese-operated, got caught in high winds and a sandstorm as it navigated a narrow stretch of the canal.
The position in which the ship was stuck saw the 1,300-foot-long, 220,000-ton ship’s bow aground on the canal’s eastern bank, and the stern on the western bank. 30,000 cubic meters of sand was dredged before a dozen tugboats was able to wrench it free on March 29. Reportedly this amount of sand is enough to fill about a dozen Olympic-size swimming pools.
Rabei said that through the investigation, they will try to determine what part if any, human error or mechanical failure played in the incident. Sayed Sheisha, who happens to be the canal authority consultant, also said that the investigation will clarify if the captain did follow the instructions of the Suez Canal guide. Sheisha also informed that a civil lawsuit will be filed if the captain and the others don't cooperate in the investigation and which could drag on for many years. It was also reported that the captain and the crew are all from India, but at the moment, the identities of the crew members have not been revealed by the authorities.