“It is apparent that efforts to refloat the vessel have so far been unsuccessful, and the salvage operation may therefore be a more protracted and difficult one,” warns the company.
“It is reported that the vessel’s draft was 13 meters at the time of the grounding whereas the depth of water at the location of the grounding is reported to be only approximately 7.5 meters,” says Webster. “It is quite possible that the salvage operation may therefore require the vessel to be lightened to allow the vessel to be successfully refloated.”
Webster’s assessment comes after Evergreen Marine told customers yesterday that the accident had not damaged the vessel’s hull and that its propeller and hull are fully functional. Evergreen said it has appointed salvor Donjon Smit to join the rescue operation.
“A team of experts are at the scene to assess the vessel’s grounding condition the weight of the cargo on board and the tidal range at the location in Chesapeake Bay,” said Evergreen “This information will be used to design an effective plan to refloat Ever Forward. As soon as the plan is approved by the competent authority we will immediately put it into effect.”
GENERAL AVERAGE LIKELY?
Be that as it may, W.K. Webster warns that “The apparent complexity, time and expense of the salvage operation now makes the possibility of shipowners declaring General Average more likely.”
“If GA is declared,” says Webster, “General Average security will be required from all cargo interests prior to the delivery of their cargo.” The firm adds that it is “well placed to assist cargo insurers in that regard” and has marine engineers and cargo surveyors on standby to investigate the cause of the grounding and any physical loss or damage to cargo arising as a result of the grounding.