May 1, 2007
No plans to raise Bourbon Dolphin
The Gard P&I Club yesterday issued a statement reporting that it is extremely uncertain that it is technically possible to raise the BOURBON DOLPHIN.
The current situation is that the BOURBON DOLPHIN has sunk in about 1,100 meters of water in the North Atlantic Ocean about 85 nautical miles (157 kilometers) northwest of the Shetland Isles. This ocean area is outside the territorial waters of any state, but within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the United Kingdom.
London Offshore Consultants (LOC) was consulted on the technical aspects of raising the ship.
LOC's advice is:
From a legal perspective, the state that has jurisdiction over the ocean area where a ship has sunk can order it to be removed if it poses a danger to navigation or the environment, neither of which appears to be the case with the BOURBON DOLPHIN.
Bourbon Offshore is insured by Gard for legal liabilities.
Gard can only cover costs incurred in raising the BOURBON DOLPHIN if the shipowner is legally liable to comply with an order issued by a competent authority.
This means that, in the absence of such an order, Gard cannot cover the costs to raise the BOURBON DOLPHIN even if it were technically possible to do so.
Like all the other P&I Clubs, Gard only covers its shipowner members' legal liabilities. Gard cannot assume any greater responsibility to pay claims or incur costs than what follows from the legal liabilities incurred by its members.
Loss of or damage to the ship itself is covered by hull and machinery insurance.
The BOURBON DOLPHIN is regarded as a total loss, which means that the hull and machinery insurers will have to pay the sum insured, but they are not responsible for taking any other measures.