Suez Vessel Owners In London Court
Four traders and an insurance company have taken Shoei Kisen Kaisha, the Japanese owners of the infamous Ever Given vessel, to High Court in London.
The companies seek compensation for losses incurred due to spoilt food and allege the ship was sailing for 18 minutes above the 12-knot speed, before losing control and grounding on the banks of the Suez canal.
The obstruction caused major disruption to trade lanes between Asia and Europe last year, with schedules impacted for weeks afterwards. Over 400 vessels were left queuing to enter the canal at one stage during the week long blockage.
According to evidence heard in an Egyptian court in 2021:
The 400m long ship entered the canal during a storm. A few miles in, it veered from port to starboard and back again, as the lead Suez Canal Authority (SCA) pilot instructed the helmsman to steer hard right, then hard left.
The hull took so long to respond that by the time it began to move, the helmsman needed to correct course again, and was asked to speed up before control was lost. Before the grounding, the two pilots were reported to be arguing, with one threatening to leave the ship.
Claims from the blockage are expected to top $2 billion according to a recent suggestion from a reinsurer.