Posted on February 13, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
198 Containers on board the fire-stricken Yantian Express have been identified as a total loss
Hapag-Lloyd issued a statement on February the 11th, following the initial inspection of the Yantian Express.
“Based on his initial attendance, the GA Surveyor has identified 198 containers that were most likely a total loss due to the fire. He has also identified an additional 460 containers that were stored in the affected area that require inspection.
“We remain in the process of diligently addressing all of the safety, logistical, operational, and other aspects arising from this casualty, and are pleased to report that significant headway has been made in that regard, “said the company in a statement.
According to Richards Hogg Lindley (RHL), the General Average and Salvage Adjusters in charge of the inspection, the cargo in the aforementioned 198 containers will not be inspected and will be immediately sent for destruction as soon as it's offloaded from the vessel.
Furthermore, an additional 460 containers that were stored in the fire-stricken area have been identified and will require further inspection.
The containers aboard the vessel were damaged when the Yantian Express caught on fire on the 3rd of January, while the ship was sailing from Colombo to Halifax.
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Hapag-Lloyd has declared general average on its fire-stricken boxship, Yantian Express.
The fire that devastated the unfortunate boxship first started back on January 3rd.
It managed to quickly spread across multiple decks, forcing the crew to evacuate the vessel.
It took firefighting services a full three weeks to manage to put the fire under control, but due to the extent of the damage, the company was forced to declare general average.
“After evaluation of the salvors with regards to safety and operational items, it has been decided that Freeport Harbor, Bahamas will be the next port of call for the Yantian Express, with an estimated arrival by mid next week. Please also note that General Average was declared,” the company statement reads.
General average is a maritime law principal, under which all parties involved in the voyage must proportionally share losses resulting from an incident.
Furthermore, Hapag-Lloyd will be appointing Average Adjusters to oversee the operation.
“In conjunction with declaring general average, the owners will appoint average adjusters, responsible for coordinating the collection of general average securities and all documentation required from parties with interest in cargo, containers, vessel, and fuel. Cargo interests (or their insurance companies) should plan to contact the average adjusters directly once they are appointed,” a customer advisory said.
The Yantian Express is expected to arrive at the port of Freeport, Bahamas on February 1st where it will undergo an assessment of the status of its cargo.
Image Courtesy of Marine Traffic
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"Further to our Customer Info of January 10, 2019 we would like to provide you with following status update:
The salvage operations show continuous progress.
The fire is widely contained and meanwhile the ocean-going tug “Union Sovereign” has arrived at the vessels position on January 15, 2019 to further assist the operations. Another ocean-going tug is on its way.
At this time, it is not yet possible to make a precise estimate of any damage to Yantian Express or its cargo; this can only be more clearly assessed once the vessel reaches a port.
Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with an ETA at the moment; this will be advised as soon as determined.
We regret any inconvenience caused by this incident and shall keep you closely informed on actual development of the rescue operation and further proceedings."
The fire that originally broke out on January the 3rd onboard the Yantian Express only now shows signs of stopping, more than two weeks after the fact. The crew of the vessel, all Filipino nationals, were taken to Halifax, where they met with the members of the local Filipino community who provided them with food and other necessities, before being flown back to the Philippines.