2020 has presented a number of challenges to the shipping industry, certainly none more so than the global pandemic which has significantly disrupted international trade and profoundly affected crew welfare. The closure of national borders and the curtailment of commercial flights has introduced other limitations, including the ability of lawyers to travel to vessels following a marine casualty. While this is certainly less of a concern than the plight of many seafarers, who have been stranded on board vessels without any immediate prospect of returning home to their families, it nevertheless presents another unwelcome headache for ship owners.
Following any significant marine casualty, whether a collision, grounding, fire, or other significant event, it is essential that evidence is properly preserved. This will be relied upon as the subsequent legal ramifications of the incident play out, which can often take many years. The early preservation of evidence prevents electronic data being lost, or crew witnesses leaving the employment of the ship owners and subsequently being unavailable or unwilling to provide witness statements. Continue Reading