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Next Steps: recent vessel fires declared General Average

WK Webster confirms owners of the Yantian Express have declared General Average (GA) following the breakout of a fire amongst containers.

On January 4 2019 the fully cellular containership was enroute from Sri Lanka to Canada, and experienced a fire in a container which quickly spread to other containers. The ship was situated approximately 650 nautical miles off the coast of Canada.

The severity of the fire, combined with adverse weather conditions, hampered efforts from salvors attempting to board the vessel. Difficulties with cargo delayed the salvage of the vessel and cargo on board.

The Port of Refuge is Freeport Harbour, Bahamas. Cargo is expected to discharge from the ship in the week of 19th February which will require general average and salvage guarantees to be completed before cargo can be released by the ship. More details pertaining to the nature of cargo and complexities of salvage can be found here.

Further to this event, most recently on 31 January 2019 another container vessel, APL Vancouver similarly caught fire off the Vietnamese coast en route from China to Singapore. Reports from The Loadstar confirm the vessel is now making way to a Singapore lay-by berth for inspection by surveyors, following the decision last week to declare general average.

Both incidences serve as a timely reminder for what action to take when GA is declared. NTI advises next steps for those impacted:

For any undamaged cargo to be released by the ship and continue its voyage, those impacted are required to compete the below document which may be used from the Average Adjuster:

  • Average Guarantee; to be forwarded to NTI for next steps
  • Average Bond;  to be completed by the insured
  • Salvage Agreement;  to be forwarded to NTI for next steps


In addition, NTI will also require the below information:

  1. Copy of Bill of Lading (front &  back)
  2. Commercial sales invoice
  3. Freight invoice
  4. Insurance certificate

NTI have appointed one of our marine claims expert - Cassandra Phillips, as a dedicated touchpoint for sending through claims related documentation, and general queries surrounding the aforementioned events. Contact details for Cassandra are below:

Phone: +612 8227 7755

Looking for expert advice and further clarification around General Average & Salvage? Click here

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