OFFICIALS TO INVESTIGATE “ BLACK BOX” IN SUEZ CANAL CRISIS

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Ever Given spent six days stuck in the canal after running aground on March 23.
Compensation includes cost of the salvage operation and recuperation of losses.
The ship could be held in the Suez Canal until the compensation is finalized.
Egypt is expecting more than $1 billion (£722 million) in compensation after a cargo ship blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week, reads a Daily Mail report.

•Access to the black box

Suez Canal Authority (SCA) CEO Ossama Rabei also warned the ship and its some $3.5 billion (£2.5 billion) worth of cargo will not be allowed leave Egypt if the issue of damages goes to court.

But he explained that if an investigation went smoothly and the compensation amount was agreed on, then the ship could travel on without problems.

On Thursday, the ship’s technical managers, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, said in an email to The Associated Press that the ship’s crew was cooperating with authorities in their investigation into what led to the vessel running aground.

They said that Suez Canal Authority investigators have been given access to the Voyage Data Recorder, also known as a vessel’s black box.

•$1 billion compensation

The news was announced by Rabei in a phone interview with government-run broadcaster Sada Elbalad on March 31. He said the Canal Authority would demand the $1 billion (£722 million) sum in compensation for the six-day delay.

‘It’s the country’s right,’ Rabei said, without specifying who would be responsible for paying the compensation.

Read Also: Egypt To Seek $1bn Compensation for Suez Canal Crisis

•Charterer liable for compensation

It is expected either Japanese company Shoei Kisen Kaisha, who own the Panama-flagged Ever Given, or the Taiwanese firm Evergreen Marine Corp, who had charted the ship, will be liable for the compensation. But Evergreen Marine Corp have said the accident was not their responsibility and doubt they will be sought for compensation.

Rabei said that in the past, canal authorities and the ship’s owners have had a good relationship. Two Egyptian canal pilots were aboard when the ship got stuck. Such an arrangement is customary to guide vessels through the narrow waterway, but the ship’s captain retains ultimate authority, according to experts.

The ship was trapped for six days before authorities finally managed to set it free on Monday. The Ever Given is now about halfway through the canal in a holding lake called Bitter Lake as the SCA investigates.

All of the ship’s crew are reportedly cooperating and have offered all of the logs or information that has been asked of them.

Source: Daily Mail