779 - 08/11 - Port damage claims - South America

It has come to the attention of the Club that claims relating to damage to dock walls, quay sides and other port facilities are on the increase.

Recently, one of the Club’s Members was issued with a Letter of Protest in a port in Chile for causing damage to a pier whilst coming alongside.

It was apparent to the Master of the vessel that the damage was not caused by his vessel, the quayside being generally in a bad state of repair in various locations.

It was noted on this particular occasion that the fenders, used truck tyres, were inadequate to handle such a large vessel and that the swell inside the port was considerable. The port did not have adequate protection from a long Pacific swell.

Another worrying fact in this case was that the LOP was issued to the vessel, not on arrival at the time of the alleged damage, but only 15 minutes prior to departure, leaving the Master with very little option but to sign for receipt of the LOP.

In cases where the berth maybe of questionable quality/poorly maintained, as it may be impractical for the Master to obtain photographic evidence prior to or, during arrival, the Club would advise an inspection be made of the quayside and hull as soon after berthing as possible. The findings of such an inspection should be entered into the deck log book.

Members should be reminded that any heavy contacts with the berth during arrival and/or departure could lead to large claims and should also be entered into the log book. Photographic evidence should be obtained and the Club’s Correspondent informed as soon as possible after the incident.

Source of Information: 
Loss Prevention Department
UK P&I Club

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