US court decides against USS Cole sailors

The US Supreme Court on March 26 did not allow American sailors injured in the deadly 2000 al Qaeda bombing of the Navy destroyer USS Cole to collect the $314.7 million in damages from the government of Sudan for its alleged role in the attack. The ruling overturned a lower court’s decision that had allowed the sailors to collect the damages from certain banks that held Sudanese assets.

Vale ordered to halt operations at two more dams

A Brazilian court has ordered Vale SA, the world’s largest iron ore miner, to suspend operations at two more dams. The court demanded the company to prove the structures are stable, following an accident in the Vale’s facilities in January that killed about 300 people.

Two illegally-operating passenger charters criminally charged

Coast Guard has adopted an aggressive posture in order to mitigate illegal passenger charter activities, due to recent back-to-back law enforcement cases that took place in Florida. As smartphone applications make it easier for passengers to locate and hire charter vessels, USCG is making greater efforts in detecting illegal chartering activities and seeks maximum enforcement actions against the vessel owners and operators.

Court decision clarifies security under Letters of Indemnity

As the UK P&I Club informs, on 21 February the English High Court ordered charterers to provide security for the release of a ship under an LOI given to enable cargo to be delivered without production of the original bills of lading. Providing its comment on the decision, the UK Club stated that it is clearly a positive development that the Court interpreted clause 3 of the IG standard LOI favourably for shipowners.

Court decision clarifies situation over MARPOL breaches in EEZ

In case a ship pollutes the waters within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of a country but does not call at any of that country’s ports, it has not always been clear who has the right to impose penalties. However, according to North P&I Club, a recent European Court of Justice decision comes to provide some clarity on the issue.

UK CG makes master pay fine by proceeding to seize his vessel

As the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency proceeded to seize Tecoil Polaris, the master of the small product tanker Tecoil Polaris, Vitaliy Trofimov, was found guilty and was ordered to pay an overdue $34,000 fine for major ISM code violations.  

Court in Malta decides that ship’s mortgage overrides foreign auction

A ship was arrested in Malta after a creditor obtained a Maltese court order claiming a judicial sale by auction of the ship in Jamaica was ignored. Jebmed SRL were first ranking creditors of the 22,988-tonne bulk carrier Bright Star, which at the time was called Trading Fabrizia, by virtue of a mortgage registered in Malta, where the ship was registered, in 2017. As the vessel went into financial distress while in Haiti and Jamaica, it was arrested by many creditors, such as Jebmed.

JES files for judicial management

JES International Holdings, a Singapore-listed defunct Chinese shipbuilder, has announced that an application has been filed in the high court of Singapore to place the company under judicial management. The shipbuilder fined its application on February 11. In the meantime, the date of the hearing of the application is still to be fixed by the court.

Marathassa acquitted of all charges over Vancouver oil spill

A British Columbia court has acquitted the Panamax bulk carrier ‘Marathassa’ on all charges, over its spill of 2,700 litres of bunker fuel into Vancouver’s English Bay in April 2015, attributing the incident to manufacturing flaws and not to company negligence. 

Captain hits dinghy with his ferry over parking quarrel

The Bournemouth Crown Court has started trial over a crash incident in Poole Harbour, southern England, September 2017, when the Captain of the 50ft-long ferry ‘Maid of Poole’ reportedly crashed on purpose on a dinghy, injuring the driver, over a parking row. 


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