General average declared for stricken Maersk Honam vessel
Maersk has declared general average (GA) for the stricken Maersk Honam containership which caught fire earlier this month, the British International Freight Association (BIFA) has informed members in a post on its website.
The trade body adds that the insurance industry is bracing itself for hundreds of millions of dollars of claims.
The remains of three crew members were found on board the vessel while a fourth seafarer missing after the blaze has not been found.
22 crew were evacuated the majority of them being released from hospitals after receiving treatment.
The Singapore-flagged Maersk Honam was en route from Singapore to Suez with 7,860 containers when the fire started on March 6.
The UK trade body said Maersk had appointed Liverpool-based average adjuster Richards Hogg Lindley to collect the necessary GA security and also confirmed that cargo owners have been advised, including 2M partner MSC, of its decision to declare GA.
It quoted MSC who had requested its customers to contact their insurance company “so that your cargo can be released without delay”, adding: “We have not received any reliable information regarding the condition of your cargo, but we will be sure to inform you after we are notified. ”
Specialist firefighters from two salvage companies, Ardent and Smit, tackled the fire, which caused extensive damage to the 2017-built, $122 million ship.
BIFA highlighted that on the evidence of images from the Indian coastguard, hundreds of containers in the fore section of the 15,262 teu Maersk Honam would seem to be a total loss, but boxes stowed behind the superstructure and in the aft section appear intact.
It also noted that concluded at the time of reporting no port has stated that it would accept the damaged vessel.