M/V Dali owners invoke General Average clause

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Following the collapse of Baltimore’s Key Bridge, Maersk, which chartered the MV Dali involved in the incident, announced that the vessel owners have declared General Average (GA). Maersk has advised customers with cargo on the Dali to contact their insurers about this declaration. The Port of Baltimore has opened two temporary channels for essential commercial vessels, but these are not suitable for large container ships due to their shallow depths of 11 and 14 feet. A planned third channel with a depth of 35 feet, set to open later this month, will provide limited access for some larger vessels, although still less than the port’s main channel depth of 50 feet.

General average (GA) is a principle from maritime law that requires all parties involved in a sea venture to proportionally share any losses resulting from voluntary sacrifices made to save the voyage. This concept, which traces back to ancient maritime practices, becomes applicable when extraordinary actions, like jettisoning part of the cargo, are necessary to save a ship. Modern applications of GA cover expenses incurred from measures taken to preserve the vessel, its cargo, and crew. These costs might include payments for emergency towing, repairs, or salvage operations, as well as losses from damaged or sacrificed cargo.

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