The Smit salvage group engaged on Lloyd’s Open Form terms to fight the fire and tow the 6,732–teu MSC Flaminia (built 2001) from the middle of the North Atlantic to a location 240 miles off the south west of the UK are also looking for security based on a percentage of the cargo value.
Contributions to general average will be assessed by Hamburg adjusters Schlimme & Partners who are working with Rogers Wilkin Ahern of London and Groninger Welke Janssen of Bremen.
Mediterranean Shipping Co, the long term charterer of the MSC Flaminia has told shippers that it “regrets any inconvenience” that the declaration of general average will cause.
The latest photograph of the MSC Flaminia managed by NSB Niederelbe but owned by a Conti Reederei KG scheme appear to show the ship and cargo in worse condition than previously.
But the fire is under control although smoke is still pouring from cargo hold seven immediately ahead of the accommodation.
A list that reached 11 degrees has been reduced to 2.5 degrees by pumping water from the cargo holds into the ballast tanks.
NSB Niederelbe is still trying to find a sheltered coastal area or port of refuge to continue the salvage operation but after two weeks has had no success.
The company’s chief executive, Helmut Ponath, has described it as “shocking” that no European country appears willing to provide a refuge for a German flag ship.
The Swedish Club leads the hull cover of the MSC Flaminia with a 25% share and is also the ship’s protection and indemnity insurer.
General average can be a nasty surprise to cargo owners, particularly if they have no cargo insurance. If you have any doubt about it, have a look at http://www.cargolaw.com/2008nightmare_msc_sabrina.html#GA — the contribution can exceed the value of the cargo one has on board.