TAIWAN : Evergreen, the owner of the 11,850 TEU Ever Forward which has run aground in the Chesapeake Bay in the United States since 13 March, has declared General Average (GA) due to the increasing costs arising from the continued attempts to refloat the vessel.
Ever Forward is owned by Evergreen Marine (Hong Kong) Ltd., a subsidiary of Evergreen Marine Corporation.
“Evergreen Line has been making every effort to refloat the stranded ship on behalf of the common interests of cargo owners and the safety of all involved,” said the Taiwanese carrier in its announcement.
After the incident happened, Evergreen said it immediately activated its emergency response plan and appointed the salvor Donjon-Smit to conduct underwater inspections and design refloating plan.
The program included dredging around the stranded vessel to increase buoyancy and deploying tugboats for the rescue operation. With the approval of the competent authorities, dredging operation began on 20 March.
Subsequent to the completion of the initial dredging phase, the rescue team made two attempts to refloat Ever Forward on 29 and 30 March, but both attempts failed. Therefore, Evergreen’s boxship remains stuck for the 20th day, and further attempts to refloat the vessel are not expected to be effected until 3 / 4 April, while the cause of the incident is still under investigation.
Evergreen said, “The dredging operation and refloating attempts have been conducted for the common safety of the vessel and cargo, and in the interests of all parties involved in the voyage. Considering that the complexity of further rescue operations will require more manpower, equipment and costs to refloat the stranded vessel as soon as possible, Evergreen has for cautionary purposes declared General Average and nominated Richards Hogg Lindley as the GA adjuster.”
Evergreen Line noted that it “urges all cargo interests involved, and joint venture slot users to provide security bonds and necessary documents according to the adjusting rules that govern GA in order to take delivery of cargo after the vessel is freed and arrives at its future ports of discharge.”