The Maritime Advocate–Issue 827


1. The wages of fear
2. Seafarer certificates
3. Loss of hire clauses
4. IMO candidates
5. FleetVision
6. Seafarers wages bill
7. Digital transformation
8. Cyber health check
9. Safe battery carriage
10. Border control
11. Law Commission
12. Salvage case
13. Inflatable boats
14. Abate ready

Notices & Miscellany

Readers’ responses to our articles are very welcome and, where suitable, will be reproduced. Write to:

1. The wages of fear

By Michael Grey

It is interesting to see a certain degree of critical analysis seeping into the “hindcasting” over the way the authorities reacted to Covid 19, notably the long-term effects, not of the disease itself, but the enforced curb on civil liberties in the lock-downs. Hindsight has been facilitated in the UK by the publication of electronic conversations between the then health minister Matt Hancock throughout the emergency, shining a light into the way our betters were thinking and acting.

You can react to these fascinating exchanges in different ways, perhaps depending upon your attitude to authority, and the “official” reaction is that we should wait for the multi-faceted, vastly expensive, and inevitably long-delayed, independent inquiry to run its long-winded course. But reading the “leaked” discourse, it is difficult not to come to certain conclusions.

Firstly, that the process of group-think was central to much of the government’s strategies, with little or no proper scientific or political challenge to the official line. Indeed, as they parroted their litany of the need to “follow the science”, it is clear that only one version of the science was permitted and any dissenting or doubting voices were ruthlessly silenced. There was every effort made to destroy the credibility of those who were unconvinced by the sagacity of the “Sage” committee.

Secondly, there was a huge exaggeration of the threat, with the policy makers being terrified into the most drastic action by worst-case scenarios played out by modelling, which seems to serve as “science” these days. And some of the best brains in the behavioural sciences (if this is indeed a scientific discipline) were clearly employed to frighten the population into acceding to the extreme measures being employed. They appealed to the most malleable parts of the population, persuading people to “grass” on non-compliant neighbours, encouraging  behaviour that would have been unremarkable in North Korea, as they dutifully applauded the health service, which had become fixated on the pandemic to the exclusion of most other ills.

Well, we are seeing rather more constructive criticism these days as more is revealed, and it has already been suggested that it has become increasingly difficult to believe whatever governments or scientific experts might tell you. And perhaps that is healthy, and a sign of the green shoots of post-Covid recovery, although it will probably get me “cancelled” for saying so.

But if you subscribe to this sceptical viewpoint, it is not too difficult to transfer what went on during the pandemic emergency; the official generation of fear, the scientific absolutism, the selective use of modelling, the huge exaggeration of the threats and career-ending treatment of those with different views; to other situations which face us today. Indeed, if you compare the Covid 19 emergency, for example, to the behaviour of science and the authorities over what they like to describe as the “climate emergency”, you will find very many similarities. You can probably conclude that what went on around the “unassailable” science of climate change was an excellent pattern, which could be followed by those who found themselves in charge, when the pandemic reared its ugly head. It might have been thought of as a fortuitous rehearsal.

But perhaps as a result of a little more knowledge of what went on during the pandemic, and a little less subsequent respect for what politicians, civil servants and scientists tell us we must believe, there is an increase in healthy scepticism about people endlessly yelling at us about climate change. Too much fear, too much emphasis upon the very worst case of every change, never any measured or considered view of what the future might hold, too much utter certainly. For example, there is more intelligent questioning about the UK’s legalistic embrace of “net zero”, with people actually pointing out the futility of one small country impoverishing itself, almost on a point of political principle, so that our Prime Minister could virtue signal at his own COP circus on home turf.

It was sad this week to learn of the death of Lord Lawson, a fine Chancellor of this realm, but also somebody who warned of the consequences of climate change extremism at the beginning of this century, as the environmental industry ramped up its efforts to terrify us. He might have been encouraged by rather more rational and recent arguments about the wisdom of electrification of everything and why we still need fossil fuels.  At least sensible folk are pointing out the difficulty of achieving the ridiculous targets for banning the internal combustion engine, effectively cutting off the further gains in efficiency and cleanliness that the engine manufacturers might have produced given the incentive of time.

There is a very welcome pushback against the climate fanatics who have ridiculously overstated their case, to the extent of frightening children and making any thinking adults lose patience with them. Who knows, there may be some credit given to engineers, shipbuilders and the shipping industry, which have clever people doing their level best to make essential trade more sustainable, and who know that “net zero” is a chimera, no matter how many stupid laws might be passed by people who think in groups.

Michael Grey is former editor of Lloyd’s List.

2. Seafarers certificates

The German Shipowners’ Association (VDR) has welcomed the European Commission’s decision of 31 March 2023 to continue to recognise certificates for seafarers issued by the Philippines. VDR president Gaby Bornheim said: “The decision is an extremely important step towards ensuring quality standards and fostering international cooperation in maritime transport. Filipino seafarers also make up an indispensable part of crews in the German shipping sector. Thanks to the European Commission’s decision, there will finally be planning security and dependability now for the future as well.”

Roughly 50,000 Filipino seafarers are working on EU-flagged ships alone. Their expertise and skills are vital for safe and efficient maritime transport. The EU’s decision is additionally an important signal to other countries that also want to train seafarers and recognise their seafarer certificates. “Maintaining high internationally applied quality standards in the training and certification of seafarers is essential and a necessary prerequisite for the safe operation of our ships,” Bornheim continued.


3. Loss of hire clauses

London marine insurance professionals must contend with a series of long-standing problem areas in claims for loss of charter hire, with market clauses stopping short of answers to some key points.

Rui Hao, an associate director of Richards Hogg Lindley, sought to offer clarity on what the clauses “do and do not say” when he addressed a market briefing in the City organised by the Association of Average Adjusters and the International Underwriting Association.

A loss of hire policy comes into play when a vessel has sustained damage covered under a hull and machinery policy. If the assured is deprived of income because of an insured event, insurers would cover an agreed amount per day for a certain number of days over the policy excess.

The following policy conditions are widely used to insure loss of hire: the Nordic Marine Insurance Plan, the American Loss of Charter Hire Form SP40B (known as the Lazard form) and the policy form from the English market and named after the late  AB Stewart, a Lloyd’s marine underwriter at the time. The latest version of the English conditions is ABS Loss of Charter Hire Insurance (1/10/83), either including or excluding war.

Setting the context for his remarks, Hao, who is a Fellow of the Association of Average Adjusters, explained that while this type of insurance is generically called loss of hire (implying it was for time-chartered vessels), a wide range of business was written on the basis that a vessel was operating for instance on the spot market or in liner trades among others. The cover was better described as “loss of earnings”, he said.

Clause 1 of the ABS form provides that “if in consequence of” loss, damage or an occurrence covered under a chosen set of hull clauses, or breakdown of machinery that has not resulted from wear and tear or neglect by the assured, there is prima facie cover under a loss of hire policy.

Hao reminded his audience that there must be a causal connection between loss of earnings and the insured event. This excluded a vessel that would have been out of employment in the absence of the insured event; but when proving a loss, the assured was required to show only that there was a reasonable chance of obtaining a charter.

Before the 1992 case,   The Wondrous, the understanding about the ABS wording was that the trigger for a claim was the insured peril and not that damage was caused by an insured peril. In that case, the High Court rejected a claim for loss of hire on the grounds that a failure to comply with customs regulations led to the ship being detained and this was excluded by the Institute War clauses referred to in the loss of hire conditions. The Court of Appeal held that there must be a loss of or damage to the vessel covered by hull clauses and a repair period to trigger a claim for loss of hire.

However, the policy wording in The Wondrous was not the same as the wording of the ABS form, and a reference to “occurrence” in the ABS conditions after the words “loss, damage” envisaged the aftermath of an insured event that had not caused physical loss or damage to a vessel.

The Nordic Marine Insurance Plan extended cover for circumstances where there was no damage, i.e. a vessel being stranded without sustaining damage, prevented by obstruction other than ice from leaving a port or similar area, because of measures to salvage or remove damaged cargo, or because of an event allowed in general average.

A vessel may be off-hire for repairs after the expiry of a policy during which an accident occurred; if damage occurred under policy number one, and the vessel was put off-hire for repairs during policy two, the claim would be on policy one.

Difficulties might arise when dealing with progressive damage. If 30% of damage attaches to policy 1, and 70% to policy 2 when the vessel is off hire for repairs to the progressive damage, which policy should respond to the loss of hire claim? Assuming the loss of hire policies are back-to-back with hull and machinery policies, it is suggested that the percentages of propagation of damage are applied to net claims under the two policies, said  Hao.

He addressed circumstances where a vessel is ‘partly’ prevented from earning hire, the most common example being slow steaming. If a vessel sustains main-engine damage which reduces its speed, then charterers may debit owners with a proportion of the daily hire. Other examples are loss of use of a ship’s cranes, reducing its discharging capacity, and loss of use of a damaged hatch or hold, lowering cargo carrying capacity. Insurers have sometimes argued that claims are only payable when a vessel is completely off-hire, but it is now generally agreed that this would be inequitable and claims for slow steaming were being settled by insurers.

Hao admitted that in practice, the difficulty might be to prove that a vessel’s slow steaming and reduction of hire was the direct consequence of a casualty. There are many other reasons for slow steaming, such as to conserve fuel, to avoid port congestion or to provide time for engineers to carry out maintenance. Adjusters would have to satisfy themselves that a loss of hire claim for slow steaming did result from insured perils or ship breakdown and not from extraneous causes.

Would there be a claim for time for repairs extended by events beyond the control of the assured? Mr Hao cited two legal cases: one concerning The London (1914) and the other the well-drilling vessel Toisa Pisces (2012). The reasonable conclusion from those cases was that under English law, claims for loss of time for repairs extended by events outside the assured’s control were in principle payable, unless there was a new proximate cause.

 Hao turned to the question of what is known as “common time” which might involve operations such as removal to a repair port, tank cleaning, gas freeing and sea trials; or operations involving different classes of repairs carried out simultaneously. The ABS form was silent about that, but the American Lazard form included a simultaneous repairs clause, which provides for time common to different classes of repairs to be divided between insurers and assured.

He said that there were considerations as to whether to call only on the assured to share time which is common to damage repairs and owner’s work necessary for seaworthiness, or to extend the principle of sharing common time along the lines indicated by the Association of Average Adjusters D5 rule of practice. 

The London practice was that the principles under D5 are applied to common time and simultaneous repairs in loss of hire claims, that is, the assured is called on to share time when damage repairs are deferred until a routine repair period or are carried out concurrently with owner’s work immediately necessary for seaworthiness of the vessel.

 Hao explained that the Nordic Plan differs from English and American practice in that if repairs covered are carried out simultaneously with works not covered but are done to fulfil classification requirements, to enable the ship to meet technical and operational safety requirements, to perform its contractual obligations, or are related to the reconstruction of the vessel, half of common time in excess of the deductible is to be apportioned equally between both classes of work.

Are additional expenses payable? Clause 12 of the ABS provisions says that insurers have a right to require the assured to incur any expense which would reduce insurers’ liability provided such expenses are for insurers’ account. Likewise, if the assured incurs additional expenses which would reduce the loss of hire claim, such expenses are in principle allowable to the extent of savings for insurers.

Clause 3 of the ABS form provides that where a recovery in respect of loss of earnings is obtained from third parties, such recovery shall be apportioned between the assured and the insurers as their respective interests may appear. Thus, if loss of hire insurers pay a claim following a collision, and a recovery is obtained from the opponent vessel for loss of hire while the vessel is off-hire for the repairs, the loss of hire insurers would be credited with daily hire recovered beyond the excess period.

But if crew wages are allowed during an extra period of detention at a port of refuge, allowable in general average, should loss of hire insurers be credited with crew wages on paying a claim? Shipowners argue that hire is not divisible into elements of running expenses, direct overheads and profit, although owners expect to pay wages and maintenance out of their hire earnings. Loss of hire insurers on the other hand contend that when owners placed the insurance, they were taking into account running expenses, direct overheads and profit.

As far as Hao understood, the practice was to credit recoveries of wages and maintenance to loss of hire insurers if owners successfully recovered general average contributions. Bear in mind, he added, that credit is not given for wages and maintenance that is recoverable in general average but falling within the excess period.

What if a bonus payment were made to crew members engaged in repairs, and owners managed to recover that from hull insurers – should loss of hire insurers receive credit for the bonus recovered? On that point, Mr Hao noted that crew wages were paid in lieu of cost of repairs. If crew were not engaged in repairs, hull insurers would have had to pay higher costs to repairers and the crew could have been occupied in other tasks. Mr Hao submitted that where crew are engaged in damage repairs, and hull insurers pay crew costs in excess of ordinary crew wages, the extra crew costs should not be credited to loss of hire insurers.

Burkhard Fischer, vice-chairman of the Association of Average Adjusters, chaired the meeting .What was less clear, he said, was the future of the ABS conditions when many in the market preferred to use the Nordic Plan.  The ABS clauses were common sense, but their silence on some matters might or might not be an advantage.

4. IMO candidates

Seven IMO Member States have each nominated a candidate for the post of Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The term of the current incumbent, Kitack Lim of the Republic of Korea, expires on 31 December 2023.

The nominations received by the deadline set for receipt of nominations of 31 March 2023 are listed below in alphabetical order by candidates’ name.  

·          Moin Uddin Ahmed (Bangladesh)

·           Suat Hayri Aka (Turkey) 

·           Arsenio Antonio Dominguez Velasco (Panama) 

·           Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry (Dominica) 

·           Nancy Karigithu (Kenya)

·           Minna Kivimäki (Finland)

·           Zhang Xiaojie (China)

The IMO Council at its 128th session (December 2022) approved the procedures for holding the election of the Secretary-General at the July 2023 session of the Council (C 129).  The election will take place at IMO Headquarters on Tuesday 18 July.  

Following the election in July 2023, the decision of the Council will be submitted to the 33rd session of the Assembly of IMO in late 2023. The Assembly will be invited to approve the appointment.  The elected Secretary-General will take office on January 1st, 2024.  

5.  FleetVision

Laskaridis Shipping Company, the Athens-based ship owner,have  announced that they have started a project with maritime technology company ShipIn Systems, the world’s first FleetVision Platform. Laskaridis will roll out ShipIn’s FleetVision Platform across the fleet in the coming months.
The visual analytics solution provides a digital bridge between ship and shore, enabling real-time collaboration between ship owners, managers, and crew onboard to enhance vessel safety and productivity.
Laskaridis Shipping controls a fleet of 90 vessels. The team will install ShipIn’s fleet of AI-powered CCTV cameras on board to detect discrete events like maintenance, navigation, and cargo operations. The platform will automatically alert the Laskaridis team both on board and onshore to any safety or security risks, creating a digital source of truth that rolls up to powerful, fleet-wide analytics.
“We’re proud to be the very first ship management company in Greece to implement this innovative technology solution,” said Laskaridis Shipping COO Georgios Christopoulos. “The FleetVision system will become an important part of our digitalization strategy and will help us better pursue our policy towards operational excellence.”
  Laskaridis Shipping will now have access to onboard operational data in near real-time. ShipIn enables collaboration between captains and crew onboard vessels and operations ashore through a patented communication protocol that minimizes required data bandwidth.
 FleetVision™ provides visibility to low-traffic areas onboard, enabling early hazard detection, protection from external damages like drug smuggling and stevedore damages, and more. With all ship activities rolling up to an analytics dashboard, it makes it easy to benchmark performance, perform remote audits, and improve the operational ROI of the entire fleet.

6. Seafarers wages bill

The Seafarers’ Wages Act received Royal Assent on 23 March 2023 and is now law as part of the UK government’s initiative to crack down on unfair practices, end exploitation, and improve the working conditions for seafarers.

As a key strand of the Government’s 9-point plan for seafarers, the new law is designed to protect those working on vessels operating an international service from being paid less than the National Minimum Wage. Eight of these are legislations to grant British ports powers to refuse access to ships that do not pay their crew at least an equivalent to the UK’s minimum wage, which is currently set at £6.83 ($8.40) for an individual aged between 18 to 20, £9.18 ($11.20) for those between 21 and 22, and for individuals aged 23 and over the minimum wage is £9.50 ($11.60).

UK Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “Our maritime sector is world-leading. That’s down to the thousands of hardworking seafarers working tirelessly to maintain supply chains and transport passengers safely across our waters. These workers deserve a fair wage, and I’m therefore delighted to see our Seafarers’ Wages Act become law, helping improve pay and protect seafarers from exploitation.”

Some MPs raised several questions, with a growing number acknowledging that whilst The Seafarers’ Wages Act is a positive step, it does not go nearly far enough and remains flawed.

 Seafarers working on ships that call at UK ports at least 120 times a year will now be entitled to a wage rate that is at least equivalent to the UK national minimum wage for their work in UK waters.

The new law sets a high bar considering that only last year, the International Labour Organisation recommended that the basic minimum wage for an “able seafarer” is £2.66 ($3.20).

The UK and France have pledged to continue working together to improve conditions for seafarers working in the English Channel to protect crews from exploitation. The UK government has called for European Union nations to follow suit and set minimum wages.

David Hammond, Human Rights at Sea CEO, said: “Seafarer protections with associated flag, coastal and port State obligations require not just primary legislation to be enacted but persistent vigilance to ensure that fair working conditions are maintained, if not exceeded. This new Act is a start, but the likes of the P&O Ferries scandal must not be allowed to be repeated within the UK jurisdiction.”

7.  Digital transformation

Korean Register (KR) has signed a memorandum of understanding   with Microsoft Korea on 28 March to collaborate on digital transformation and enhance their technological capabilities, with the aim of leading the digital transformation of the shipbuilding and maritime industry by leveraging fourth industrial revolution technologies.

Through this partnership, a joint working group between the two companies will be established to collaborate on digital transformation projects. It will focus on Cloud Conversion technology, artificial intelligence (AI) technology development, and digital workplace platform upgrades based on Microsoft Azure.

Currently, digital transformation through the application of fourth industrial revolution technology is recognised as a global hot topic across industries, and its necessity and demand are increasing. In line with this trend, the shipbuilding and maritime sector is actively applying cloud and AI technologies to achieve autonomous operations and improve ship safety.

KR has proactively pursued ‘digital and green’ initiatives in recent years. Through the new partnership, KR will be able to provide digital survey services with AI and stable infrastructure to KR customers.

“We plan to implement cloud technology in our system and introduce innovation in our offices by activating digital workplaces to improve productivity and create a flexible work environment. KR also plans to develop AI technology to actively respond to the global market competition in the maritime industry,” said Lee Hyungchul, KR Chairman & CEO.

“By collaborating with Microsoft Korea, we will lead the digital transformation of the shipbuilding and marine industries together,” he added.

“We have led innovative changes in various industries in Korea through Microsoft’s global technological competitiveness, cloud Azure-based artificial intelligence technology, and modern workplace services,” said Lee Jieun, CEO of Microsoft Korea.

“We will fully support KR to lead digital innovation in the industry through cooperation,” she added.

8. Cyber health check
Classification society Bureau Veritas  has launched its new Cyber Health Analysis Report Tool (CHART) to help shipowners gain a better understanding of their ships’ digital architecture (OT/IT), specific vulnerabilities and level of preparedness to potential cyber threats.
The aim is to offer a comprehensive technical assessment of a vessel’s cyber resilience at specific moments in its lifetime, responding to the need to constantly review, maintain and update systems in the face of evolving cyber threats.
The tool provides a comprehensive audit of the vessel’s equipment, networks, security mechanisms and interconnections, to ensure that these systems are fully known to the owner and validate their compliance with cybersecurity standards, including recent regulations from IACS and flag states. The analysis delivered provides a “cybersecurity health check report”, together with recommended mitigation measures.
CHART by BV was developed to help shipowners evaluate and increase the cyber resilience of their vessels, which is a core priority as connected systems have become a common feature of modern ships.
Paul Delouche, strategy and advanced services director at Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore, said: “The monitoring and remote management of connected and even hyper-connected systems, as well as cloud-based web applications, have become instrumental to improve ships’ performance and efficiency. While their benefits are undeniable, these systems also increase the surface for potential cyber-attacks. Such incidents could compromise valuable cargo and entire fleet operations, as well as the safety of the ship and crew. Therefore, cybersecurity must be taken into consideration during the whole lifecycle of a vessel.”
The new tool can validate a ship’s compliance with upcoming IACS Cyber Resilience Unified Requirements UR E26, which will require the implementation of stringent cybersecurity protections and will be mandatory from 1 January 2024. The correct implementation of these standards can be validated by auditing networks and equipment to confirm compliance, and if not, the path towards it.

9. Safe battery carriage

Industry bodies have got together to  produce guidelines for the safe transport of lithium-ion batteries in containers with the first in a series of in-depth advisory publications aimed at minimising the risks of transporting lithium-ion batteries and cells launched amid heightened concern over container fires

The Lithium-ion Batteries in Containers Guidelines seek to prevent the increasing risks that the transport of lithium-ion batteries by sea creates, providing suggestions for identifying such risks and thereby helping to ensure a safer supply chain in the future.  Together with its partners, the Cargo Incident Notification System Network (CINS) has compiled a comprehensive publication covering the properties of these batteries and their potential to explode, initiate fires and emit toxic gases.

Extensive measures to safely transport what is an exponentially increasing volume of lithium-ion batteries, in their various states of charge and when also contained in electronic devices are fully examined including, classification and regulation, container packing, landside storage, stowage onboard ships, incident detection and fire suppression, and loss prevention and risk mitigation.

“We strongly urge all stakeholders in the production, supply, transport, handling and sale of lithium-ion batteries whether as individual components or integrated into an electronic device, vehicle or other product to recognise their responsibilities in maximising safety when in transit,” comments Dirk Van de Velde, who is deputy chairman of CINS and a board member of the association of cargo handlers, ICHCA. “Our guidelines will create greater awareness of the possibilities of the damaging and life-threatening incidents, which have already occurred, and instil more urgent motivation to act before more catastrophic disasters result.”

Intended as the first of an on-going series of publications to be updated as circumstances require, Lithium-ion Batteries in Containers Guidelines (101.A) provides a general overview, and will be followed by three further documents – regulatory compliance check-lists, risk assessment and emergency response, and training and educational awareness. Stakeholders in the supply chain are encouraged to implement the advice according to their specific operations and requirements but to always keep safety of life as their primary consideration.

The document can be reviewed in full HERE

Peregrine Storrs-Fox, risk management director at freight transport insurer TT Club concludes, “As the pressure on all forms of economic activity for decarbonisation increases, the use of these batteries will inevitably escalate at rates we have previously not experienced.  Air transport has been heavily restricted already and it is clear that surface modes will be called upon to transport these goods.  As an adaptable unit, the container will remain a focal point for safe transport, including for EVs alongside other vehicle carriers.  The intermodal nature of containers means more actors other than shipping lines, be they manufacturers, packers, forwarders, logistics operators, warehouses and cargo handlers must all be cognisant of the safety issues we are addressing and play their part in ensuring the risks are properly managed.”

10. Border control

The UK government has published its Target Operating Model (TOM), which details the post Brexit border control arrangements and confirms that much of the specially built port infrastructure is likely to be surplus to requirements.

The TOM describes a new regime which should see notably less goods subject to sanitary and phytosanitary inspections at Border Control Posts, which were prepared at great cost and in rapid time. The government’s TOM was published recently for consultation and is available here.

Commenting, Richard Ballantyne chief executive of the British Ports Association, which represents port operators that collectively facilitate 86% of the UK’s trade, said; ”Whilst many in the freight industry will welcome the long-awaited publication of the TOM, in many ways the document is a bitter pill to swallow as much of the hundreds of millions of pounds of both public and private investment, not to mention the huge collective effort there has been to develop the network of new Border Control Posts (BCPs), is likely to be wasted. The TOM confirms that far less border interventions will be required, as a new environmental health control regime is implemented at our international gateways.

“Whilst this is good in terms of the facilitation of cargo through our frontiers, our ports have had to build infrastructure that is likely not to be needed. This leaves our sector out of pocket and with costly large ‘white elephant’ structures on their estates. We are keen that the government picks up much of these costs, otherwise port customers and trade could face additional charges.

“Also, as the TOM has been delayed for the best part of six months, there is now only a limited amount of time to modify and prepare facilities for the new arrangements.”

11. Law Commission

As law firm Ince points out, In January 2022, the UK Law Commission commenced its review of the Arbitration Act 1996 and published its first consultation paper in September 2022. That consultation period closed in December 2022. However, as a result of some of the responses received from around 118 consultees, the Law Commission is now conducting a second consultation exercise discussing three topics.

Two of these topics formed part of the first consultation: (i) discrimination in the context of arbitration; and (ii) challenges to awards under s.67 on the ground that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction. The Law Commission found that these two topics proved controversial and has decided to revise its initial proposals.

The third topic, which did not form part of the initial consultation, considers the governing law of an arbitration agreement. In its analysis, Ince highlights why this topic was thought to require consideration and what the Law Commission proposes. See

Law Commission consults on governing law of arbitration agreement | Ince (

12. Salvage case

Ince has also highlighted the recent case of Smit Salvage BV & others v. Luster Maritime S.A. & another (Ever Given – Salvage Claim) [2023] EWHC 697 (Admlty).

The English Court has dealt with a preliminary issue arising out of the grounding of the Ever Given in the Suez Canal on 23 March 2021. The Court found that the owners of the vessel had not concluded a binding salvage contract on commercial terms with salvors. Consequently, the salvors were entitled to claim salvage under the terms of the International Convention on Salvage 1989 (Salvage Convention) and/or at common law.

Ince says the decision is worth noting for those seeking and supplying salvage services, particularly when (as is often the case) negotiations for those services take place under time pressure and there is a measure of urgency in agreeing terms.

It is also of interest for those entering into commercial contracts generally, highlighting the importance of being clear and unambiguous as to what is agreed and when. This may be more complicated in the context of ongoing discussions between the parties involving email exchanges and oral discussions over a period of time, rather than one written and signed document.

Court finds parties did not concluding binding salvage contract | Ince (

13. Inflatable boats

Our thanks to Carra Miller’s website for highlighting the issue of inflatables. The US Coast Guard Office of Investigations and Analysis has released Marine Safety Alert 04-23 to highlight the importance of proper maintenance and adherence to manufacturer’s recommendations for filling/inflating buoyancy chambers on some models of inflatable boats.

During a recent investigation of an incident   involving foreign cruise vessel operations in the Antarctic, a US passenger was severely injured due to a Zodiac MILPRO model FC 580/MK5 keel bladder failure while underway on a sightseeing excursion. In calm weather, the keel bladder suddenly ruptured, sending the passenger several feet into the air before landing onto the deck and sustaining serious injuries including a fractured femur. An investigation has identified that the keel bladder suffered a rupture due to excessive pressure in the tube. (3/17/2023)

14.  Abate ready

Vahana Aryan, the flagship vessel of the Dubai-based Vahana Marine Solutions DMCC, has become the first jackup unit to receive DNV’s Abate-Ready notation. The Abate notation is designed to assist the owners and operators of offshore units to identify and implement measures which can lead to reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

While the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is implementing a range of regulations to reduce the carbon intensity of sea-going vessels, offshore installations are not currently covered by the same rules. With stakeholder pressure high, the offshore industry is still seeking greater sustainability at its installations and is keen to explore different ways of achieving this. DNV’s Abate notation helps offshore operators reach these goals by providing a framework for operational and technical GHG abatement measures.

 “We are delighted to award the first Abate-Ready notation for a jackup unit to Vahana Marine Solutions and we are pleased to work with a partner that is so engaged and committed to achieving its climate goals,” said Torgeir Sterri, SVP and Director of Offshore Classification at DNV. “Our Abate class notation is already proving to be a successful resource for offshore owners wishing to reduce GHG emissions and fulfil carbon reduction targets and we expect it to become a key part of the offshore industry’s carbon reduction commitments in the coming months and years.”

 Bijali Nair, VP and Regional Offshore Manager South East Europe, Middle East & Africa, DNV Μaritime, commented: “It is encouraging to see such early adoption of the Abate notation by Vahana Marine Solutions. We hope their commitment to GHG reductions can inspire other regional offshore players and ultimately help us all achieve our climate goals.”  For more information visit:

Notices & Miscellany


DNV’s brand-new videocast, Maritime Impact: Market Views is available. The first episode analyses the global economic outlook and what that means for shipping in 2023. 
Host Jakub Walenkiewicz will provide the latest analysis on current trends in the market and the effect of economic conditions. He’ll be joined by Stephen Gordon, Managing Director of Clarksons Research, who will provide his unique insight into the market developments for different vessel segments, and offer his predictions for the year ahead.

Watch the videocast

Admiralty law competition

Law students are being invited to enter the 2023 Federal Bar Association (FBA) Admiralty La w Section’s Writing Competition. This annual contest presents an excellent opportunity for those interested in Admiralty and Maritime Law to showcase their creative and analytical skills in written submissions to the FBA. The prizes include an opportunity to be published in the FBA’s magazine, The Federal Lawyer, and the Section’s newsletter Admiralitas.

For more information, including eligibility and submission requirements


For any questions regarding this competition contact Michelle Otero Valdés, at

The deadline for submissions has been extended to April 28, 2023.

Please notify the Editor of your appointments, promotions, new office openings and other important happenings:

And finally,

(With thanks to Paul Dixon)

If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?

I believe five out of four people have trouble with fractions.

If quitters never win, and winners never quit, what fool came up with, “Quit while you’re ahead?”

Do PG Tips Tea employees take coffee breaks?

I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older, then it dawned on me . . . they were cramming for their finals.

Never agree to plastic surgery if the doctor’s office is full of portraits by Picasso.

How much deeper would oceans be if sponges didn’t live there?

If it’s true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the OTHERS here for?

STRESSED spelled backwards is DESSERTS.

You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.

Clones are people two.

No one ever says “It’s only a game,” when their team is winning.

If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn’t zigzag?

Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

If a person with multiple personalities threatens suicide, is that considered a hostage situation?


Thanks for Reading the Maritime Advocate online

Maritime Advocate Online is a fortnightly digest of news and views on the maritime industries, with particular reference to legal issues and dispute resolution. It is published to over 20,000 individual subscribers each edition and republished within firms and organisations all over the maritime world. It is the largest publication of its kind. We estimate it goes to around 60,000 readers in over 120 countries.


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