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Causes and costs of maritime collisions

On Behalf of | Nov 21, 2022 | Admiralty & Maritime Defense

The shipping industry has seen a significant decline in vessels lost to collisions, foundering and other accidents. However, that is cold comfort to the captain or fleet owner of a lost ship in 2022.

When navigating a serious incident, it is important to understand the causes and potential costs. Knowing these ahead of time or while facing allegations may help prepare for a strong defense.

Major causes of damaged and lost vessels

As Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty reports, about 80% of reported losses regarding vessels occurred from sinking, becoming stranded or fire and explosion. In those numbers, 27 of those lost vessels were cargo ships.

Onboard results of maritime accidents

While there are fewer ships lost due to incident, many onboard incidents have increased. Machinery failure, collisions and fires all contribute to casualties or injuries that many fleet operators need to handle.

Costs of government bodies handling accidents

An accident for blue water vessels is bad enough. If an accident occurs in port or near heavy traffic, a captain may incur even more fines and penalties from governmental bodies. The Ever Given incident in 2021, as the Insurance Information Institute details, resulted in authorities impounding the vessel and seeking $600 million in damages. While that remains one of the costliest incidents, no maritime collision is cheap.

Handling vessel accidents

Whether a captain faces crew injury claims, major incidents or even a lost vessel, there are processes and options to work through. From investigations over the seizure of vessels or defending against damages claims, it is important for anyone to lean on their information and resources.