Suez Canal Authority slaps $916.5 mn claim against Japanese vessel owner Shoei Kisen for the blockage of the Suez Canal in March; latter holds SCA guilty of allowing the ship to enter the waterway amid bad weather

Owner of Ever Given, the huge container ship that blocked the Suez Canal in March, has disputed the vessel’s detention and a compensation claim, holding the canal authority at fault for the incident, reported Reuters.

One of the largest container ships, the 400-metre-long Ever Given, owned by Evergreen Lines, which weighs 2,24,000 tonne remained stranded across the canal on March 23 for at least six days, blocking the international trade route for hundreds of other vessels and disrupting global trade, before it was dislodged with the help of dredgers.

While the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has slapped a $916.5 million claim against the vessel’s Japanese owner Shoei Kisen for the grounding incident, the ship has been held in a lake between the two stretches of the canal.

While the SCA is seeking to uphold the container’s detention, during hearing at Ismailia Economic Court on Saturday, Kisen’s layers said the SCA was at fault for “allowing the ship to enter the waterway amid bad weather”. Ahmed Abu Ali, one the lawyers told Reuters that the SCA “failed to prove any fault by the ship”.

Ali said his team has submitted recordings from the ship that showed disagreements between SCA pilots and its control centre over allowing entry to the ship.

The lawyers said the vessel should have been escorted into the canal by two tug boats according to its size, but the same was not carried out.

Arguing that the SCA cannot claim compensation for rescuing the ship, Abu Ali said, “this was one of the duties of the authority according to the traffic contract.”

Source: The Federal