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Suez Canal Authority’s surprising stance on Ever Given’s crew

Image Credits: REUTERS/Hayam Adel


A surprising twist to release Ever Given’s crew

SCA’s chief Lt. Gen Osama Rabie continues to hope for an amicable conclusion with Ever Given’s owner and insurer. Amid a legal deadlock between the UK Club and the Egyptian courts over unpaid compensation, Rabie expressed consent for Ever Given to release or replace her crew, except for the captain.

Ever Given’s crew not detained
SCA’s recent release of two crew members barely made a dent on the ongoing legal wrestle on personal grounds. Rabie claimed the crew were not detained and free to leave or be replaced as long as the captain remains onboard. “The SCA is dealing with all the specific requirements of the negotiation with complete flexibility, in full respect for international norms in these sorts of situations,” Rabie noted.

It started with Ever Given’s wedging diagonally across the canal, and freezing traffic for six days. Her owner Shoei Kisen Kaisha was subsequently slapped with a whopping $1 billion compensation from the SCA, with a condition asserting Ever Given and her crew of 25 would be withheld till the payment is made. Refusing to concede, the vessel’s insurer UK Club challenged the claim, and questioned the omission of crucial information comprising zero pollution and injuries.

The UK Club claimed SCA failed to provide a detailed justification for the extraordinarily large claim, which included a US$300 million claim for a “salvage bonus” and a US$300 million claim for “loss of reputation”. Additionally, SCA’s claim excluded the professional salvor’s claim for their salvage services which owners and their hull underwriters expect to receive separately.

The club argued the contest was necessary. “The appeal against the arrest was made on several grounds, including the validity of the arrest obtained in respect of the cargo and the lack of supporting evidence,” it emphasised. The appeal hearing is set on 4 May 2021.




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