Marine insurance claims-bulk cargo claims due to water ingress in the cargo holds
Marine insurance claims: We Constellation Marine Services as Independent Marine Consultants received a nomination from one of our overseas Principals in order to assess the potential cargo claims due to moisture damage, cargo reported to be with mould growth in the hold.
Constellation’s senior marine insurance claims surveyor contacted the local agents to arrange all port formalities so as to board.
Marine insurance claims-background
Our senior marine insurance claims surveyor from Constellation Marine Services, boarded the vessel, met the Master & Chief Officer and explained the purpose of his visit, the master handed requested documents over to our surveyor for his perusal.
Our senior marine insurance claims surveyor was made to understand from his conversations with the Master & the documentations that the subject vessel had loaded a cargo of grains in all her cargo holds in a South American port. Cargo was loaded in fair weather, with no record of any precipitation during the time of loading.
After the vessel sailed out from her load port enroute to her discharge port she encountered bad weather, shipping seas / sprays on deck. On arriving at her discharge port, discharging of cargo commenced from designated cargo holds. When the last 3 cargo holds as per discharge sequence were opened for discharge, receivers noted part of the cargo damaged due to presence of moisture, where the cargo was noted to be with mould.
The receivers issued a Letter of Protest to the vessel in regards to the damaged cargo. Master informed the owners of the same & requested the attendance of P&I surveyor on behalf of the vessel owners. Accordingly, Constellation Marine Services as surveyors were appointed
Marine insurance claims-details of our on board survey:
Based on the review of the documents availed to our surveyor onboard, it was noted that
Vessel had encountered bad weather, shipping seas / sprays on deck during her passage from the load port.
Our marine warranty surveyor then inspected the hatch covers of the subject cargo holds & noted that the rubber packing, structural members, quick closing cleats & non return drain valves were in good condition. Our surveyor then inspected the ballast tanks adjacent & noted the tanks had not been ballasted during the passage, same were noted to be empty from the load port.
Our senior marine warranty surveyor then informed the P&I club of the same & requested that an Ultra Sonic leak detection test be carried out to ascertain the water tight integrity of the hatch covers.
The Ultra Sonic Leak detection test was carried out in the presence of the Chief Officer of the vessel & it was noted that there was effective sealing between the hatch cover & the coaming, but the natural ventilators on the hatch covers were not closed appropriately causing water ingress. It was noted that the cargo of grains in line with/below natural ventilator were affected by moisture/ damaged. The Master was requested to sign the ULD reports of the test & a copy of the same was provided for his reference.
Marine insurance Claims-Summary of our surveyor’s findings:
• Vessel encountered bad weather, shipping seas / sprays on deck, during her voyage.
• Receivers issued a Letter of Protest to the Master in regards to the damaged cargo.
• Hatch cover fittings were inspected & noted to be in good condition.
• Ultra-Sonic Leak Detection test was carried out of the subject hatch covers & no leaks were detected other than from the natural ventilators on the hatch covers.
• The cargo of grains in line with/below natural ventilator were effected by moisture & were damaged.
• The rubber packing of the natural ventilators were inspected & they were noted to be in good condition. The crew were requested to tighten/batten down the ventilators & the test was carried out again & we noted that there was no leakage.
• It was concluded by all present that the crew of the vessel had not closed / battened down the ventilators effectively, in turn causing water ingress into the cargo hold during the onset of bad weather.
• Under the supervision of our marine warranty surveyor in the presence of the receiver’s surveyor the damaged cargo (nominal amount) was removed from the cargo hold & the remaining sound cargo was discharged.
• No Letter of Undertaking was issued by the vessel as the amount of cargo damaged was negligible.No further delays were encountered & vessel competed her cargo operations and sailed out.