The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has denied claims made by UK Club, the liability insurer of ULCV Ever Given (IMO 9811000) that the vessel was under the control of pilots employed by the SCA when it entered the southern part of the channel.
UK Club said that it was “important to clarify that whilst the master is ultimately responsible for the vessel, navigation in the Canal transit within a convoy is controlled by the Suez Canal pilots and SCA vessel traffic management services. Such controls include the speed of the transit and the availability of escort tugs”.
The SCA continues to assert that exceeding set speeds in the canal is the sole responsibility of the ship captain.
It was not a matter of disagreement that vessels crossing Suez Canal are subject to a set speed of 14 to 16 km per hour depending on the type of the transiting vessel, according to Article 54 of the Navigation Book of Rules.
Article 58 stipulates that the SCA shall assign two escorting tugs to container ships carrying a tonnage of 170,000 tons and above. The SCA applied this rule to the giant ship.
The SCA said that “according to the aforementioned, the vessels shall comply with the stated speed in accordance with the Navigation Book of Rules when transiting the canal; and exceeding these speeds is the sole responsibility of the ship master.”
2018-built, Panama-flagged, 219,079 gt Ever Given is owned by Luster Maritime/Higaki Sangyo care of Shoei Kisen KK of Imabari-shi, Ehime-ken, Japan. It is entered with UK Club on behalf of Luster Maritime SA.