2005 Report & Accounts


2005 Report & Accounts


"Last year, I referred to 2003 being a remarkably good year for most shipowners and the continuation of this happy state through 2004 has been almost unprecedented. The Association’s experience in 2004 appears to have shown the impact of this healthy climate in two ways. We have seen a pleasing increase in the tonnage entered in the Association during the year, mainly with the addition of new ships to existing Members’ fleets. The confidence of Members in placing their new buildings and acquisitions with the Association is particularly gratifying.

Less welcome is the increase in claims which has occurred in 2004. As I remarked last year, past experience has shown that increased shipping activity tends to bring an increase in liability claims and a number of high profile casualties have been suffered by Members during the year.

This does not necessarily imply any reduction in standards of ship operation and maintenance. We remain vigilant in monitoring the quality of our membership through our ship inspection programme and are committed to playing our part in the wider campaign against sub-standard ships. But misfortune can strike even the best operated ships.

In the case of the oil pollution incident in the Delaware river referred to in the Review of the Year which follows, all the evidence indicates no fault at all on the ship or the crew. Yet the cost to the Association has to date been huge. Some recovery of the financial expenditure may hopefully be achieved but not without considerably more effort on top of the numerous problems already encountered by the Owner and the Managers’ staff in dealing with the aftermath of the casualty.

The ability of the Managers’ staff in their offices around the world to respond professionally and sympathetically to such crises is one of the strengths of the Association, albeit fortunately not called upon by most Members. I am confident this will continue to be the case for any Member unlucky enough to encounter such an experience."

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