The warning bell has been sounded to the crew of Ever Given ship who are likely to be stranded in the Suez Canal for years over the compensation issue.
The Suez Canal authorities have asked for nearly 1$ billion-dollar compensation from the Japanese shipping company owning the vessel.
The judicial official overseeing the legal dispute over the compensation has informed that the crew could be held up for years if the matter isn’t resolved.
Osama Rabie, the head of the SCA has said that the crew cannot leave unless the Japanese company Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd pays the compensation.
Egypt’s state media has broadcasted this issue as an official impounding of the vessel as the shipowner has refused to pay. SCA has demanded $1.17 billion to salvage the vessel refloating costs and other damages. This also includes the loss in transit fees.
The insurer of Ever Given, the UK Club has complained that the amount hasn’t been justified by the SCA. They have termed it as an “extraordinarily large claim” and expressed their disappointment at SCA’s attempts to hold the crew ransom for compensation.
NUSI General Secretary has reiterated the same sentiment stating that the crew should not be held as they weren’t involved in the matter.
Meanwhile, the SCA has said that the crew can leave as long as the ship has enough crew and the captain on board.
4 years ago a similar thing happened to MV Aman cargo vessel whose chief officer Mohammed Aisha had been stuck on board the ship.
In that case, the legal dispute regarding expired safety equipment and classification certificates was the reason for stranding the crew of the ship in Egypt.
The chief officer lived like a prisoner, isolated and malnourished for at least 2 years.
At present, the Ever Given situation is likely to be complex as the litigation will involve multiple parties like the Japanese shop owner, Taiwanese charterer and Panama flagged vessel.