UK Club says that the SCA controlled Ever Given’s speed before grounding

The speed of the Ever Given as it began to transit the Suez Canal in a northbound direction on March 23rd was controlled by the Egyptian waterway’s operator, the vessel’s insurer said on Thursday June 3rd.

UK Club said that it was ” concerned by the allegations made by the SCA during the press conference and in the media against the ship and the Master of Ever Given. The owners of the Ever Given and their P&I and hull and machinery insurers look forward to responding to these allegations within the Egyptian court proceedings. Critically it is 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.”

UK Club welcomed the SCA’s announcement during the press conference on May 30th 2021 that they were reassessing their claim in light of the valuations of the ship and cargo which have been provided by the Ever Given interests. “Since the start of this case, the owners of the Ever Given and their insurers have been committed to the fair resolution of this matter and we look forward to reaching a resolution as soon as is practicable”, the club said, adding that “the Ever Given’s owners and their P&I and hull and machinery insurers fully acknowledge that the SCA is entitled to compensation for their legitimate claims arising out of this incident. We have insured the vessel for certain third party liabilities of the SCA’s claims.”

The statement from UK Club came after SCA head Osama Rabie said that the ship was sailing too fast when it became grounded and that the canal bore no responsibility for this.

The Ever Given is still being held in the canal while both sides continue compensation talks.

Rabie said told Reuters last week that the Ever Given was moving at 25km/h rather than the appropriate 8-9km/h, that it’s rudder was not aligned, and that it could have chosen not to enter the canal.

The Ever Given’s owners and insurers have disputed the vessel’s detention and the compensation claim, and their lawyers have said the SCA was at fault for allowing the ship to enter the waterway and for not providing suitable tugs.