I – Inquiries on salvage operation
We have considered the statements provided by the Master and other crewmembers.
All statements confirm previous indications that Smit’s assistance was notrequested.
However, the statements contain no information on the extent to which, if any, the assistance provided by Smit’s tugs could have contributed to the success of the fire fighting carried out bythe Fire Department with the participation of the crew. This question was pointed in our report dated 14th. September in Item “Merits”, sub-items (i) and (ii).
And if we want take this case or letit proceed to litigation, we must investigate this issue, as it will be central in any future proceedings, either before Courts or in arbitration.
Thus, without prejudice to our the next stepscontemplated in item II, below, of this report, we would suggest that we deepen investigations of this aspect as follows:
a) The Master and crew should are asked to provide comments, in detail, on thedevelopments of fire fighting work on board and the importance/weight, if any, of the cooling efforts carried out by Smit to the success of the fire fighting. The perspective of these comments must betechnical and objective (in other words, an assessment that can be proved in a later technical investigation/survey), and must address questions such as:
1) A complete description of the firefighting works;
2) If any the Master or Officers ever heard from the Officers of the Fire Dept. any comments on Smit’s role/participation in fire fighting efforts;
3) Whether or not the water thrownby Smit (chiefly after being redirected according to the
Master’s instructions) in any way assisted to cool the plating of the engine room, thus assisting the fire fighting in that area;
4) If thefire in the engine room could or could not (as alleged by Smit) have been controlled within the same time frame (thus avoiding much greater damages to the vessel or even her total loss) had Smit...
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