BSM disappointed by arrest procedures against Suez Canal ship
The technical managers of the giant container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for six days last month have expressed disappointment that the waterway’s owner has now begun arrest procedures against the ship.
Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, which has an office in Bermuda, are technical managers for the MV Ever Given, which ran aground and blocked the canal.
The company confirmed that extensive inspections from the American Bureau of Shipping, the vessel’s classification society, which included underwater inspections, have been concluded.
Based on these “thorough inspections”, the company said the vessel has been declared suitable for onward passage to Port Said where she will be assessed again before departing for Rotterdam.
However, BSM said it has been informed by the vessel’s owner that the Suez Canal Authority has begun arrest procedures against the vessel, which remains anchored in Great Bitter Lake until an agreement between the SCA and the vessel’s owner has been reached.
News reports suggest the SCA is seeking payment for the cost of salvage and lost transit fees for the time that the canal was blocked.
Ian Beveridge, chief executive officer of BSM, said: “The SCA’s decision to arrest the vessel is extremely disappointing. From the outset, BSM and the crew on board have co-operated fully with all authorities, including the SCA and their respective investigations into the grounding.
“This included granting access to the voyage data recorder and other materials and data requested by the SCA. BSM’s primary goal is a swift resolution to this matter that will allow the vessel and crew to depart the Suez Canal.”
A company spokesman said the crew on board remain in good health and good spirits, fulfilling their duties to the highest of standards.
BSM said it is in regular contact with the crew and has offered support to the seafarers’ families.
The crew’s continued professionalism and resilience during this period is greatly appreciated, the company said.
The company said the vessel ran aground while transiting northbound under pilotage through the waterway en route to Rotterdam, Netherlands.
The company said initial investigations suggest the vessel grounded due to strong wind.
The ship, 400 metres long and having a gross weight of 200,000 tonnes, was safely refloated on March 29.
BSM said there have been no reports of pollution or cargo damage and initial investigations rule out any mechanical or engine failure as a cause of the grounding.
A company spokesman said a crew of 25 Indian nationals remain aboard the vessel.
The Ever Given is registered in Panama, and operated by Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine.