Marine Claims & Accident Investigation

Marine Claims & Accident Investigation

TMC has worked on marine casualties of all sizes, including some of the largest and most complex incidents to date. Below is a selection of the services we can provide:

  1. Structural Failure investigation

    TMC has been investigating marine casualties involving structural failures for more than thirty years, including some of the biggest and most well-known casualties worldwide. These include:

    • ERIKA, PRESTIGE, MSC NAPOLI
    • SEA EMPRESS, MSC CARLA, KHARG V
    • TASMAN SPIRIT, NAKHODKA, ATHOS 1
    • MOL COMFORT

    TMC’s experience in computer modelling using our in-house developed program for longitudinal strength & stability (SEAMASTER) allows us to analyse even the most complex of incidents, for example passenger ship stranding, bulkhead failure, floating dock failure, and collisions.

  2. Stability analysis

    TMC has investigated many casualties where stability was in question and has also acted in many “live” situations using SEAMASTER to advise clients on stability problems. In such cases TMC can respond quickly to model the vessel in order to give suitable advice.

    TMC has often used a similar-ship model from their extensive database, currently over 300 models, to give approximate results at a very early stage.

    For investigations TMC uses SEAMASTER in consultancy mode in order to investigate the circumstances surrounding a particular incident. This has proven on many occasions to be an extremely effective tool at getting to the root cause and contributing factors of a stab ility related incident. Examples of cases we have worked on are as follows:

    • BAHUGA JAYA – roro total loss
    • SEWOL – roro total loss
    • HYUNDAI 105 – car carrier total loss
    • HOEGH OSAKA – car carrier
    • SINGAPORE BULKER – bulk carrier – total loss
    • ASIAN FOREST – bulk carrier – total loss
    • VINALINES QUEEN – bulk carrier – total loss
  3. Container loss analysis

    TMC has a wealth of expertise in Container Loss Analysis, gathered over many years’ experience in the field. To assess container stack and lashing forces, we use our in-house COMLASH software. All of the major Classification Societies’ Container Lashing Rules can be modelled using this program. We can modify COMLASH to investigate specific aspects of a container loss, such as the effects of overweight containers, additional lashings, reduced roll-angles and other variables. Notable cases we have worked on include:

    • APL CHINA – N Pacific, Loss of over 400 containers
    • OOCL AMERICA – N Pacific, Loss of over 250 containers
    • SVENDBORG MAERSK – N Atlantic, Loss of over 500 containers
    • P&O NEDLLOYD MONDRIAN – Bay of Biscay, Loss of over 200 containers
    • PACIFIC ADVENTURER– Brisbane, Loss of containers & pollution
  4. Collision & groundings

    TMC has over 20 years’ experience in all aspects of collision and grounding analysis. TMC consultants are frequently engaged in assisting clients with their investigations following an incident, both on-site and through desk-top studies.

    In addition our in-house technical team offer a forensic analysis of all forms of recorded data, including: VDR, AIS, Port VTIS and crew generated data. The extraction of electronic data from NMEA sentences and X-Band/S-Band radar screen-captures on VDR, and detailed analysis of video footage from dockside closed circuit television cameras, can be undertaken.

    Manoeuvring models are still required in order to test “what-if” manoeuvres by each vessel which is modelled on our in-house developed SEAMAN manoeuvring program. More traditional methods of course-recorder trace analysis, working charts, log-books and crew statement reviews are still relevant and used to double check electronic evidence. TMC’s expertise in this field is often used to support clients in legal cases in court or arbitration both in the UK and around the world. Some notable cases we have worked on include:

    • PELOPIDAS/TRSL CONCORD – 1996 (High Court)
    • NORWEGIAN DREAM/EVER DECENT – 1999
    • BALTIC CARRIER/TERN – 2001
    • ASH/DUTCH AQUAMARINE – 2002 (Criminal court)
    • BOW SPRING/MANZANILLO II – 2003 (High Court)
    • KARIBA/TRICOLOR – 2003
    • HYUNDAI 105/KAMINESAN – 2004
    • SAMCO EUROPE/MSC PRESTIGE – 2011 (High Court)
  5. Hull & Machinery claims

    TMC engineering consultants have many years’ experience as senior sea-going engineers and ashore as superintendents, involved in the overhaul and maintenance of ship’s machinery and systems. Our consultants bring this extensive experience to bear when carrying out investigations into the failure of marine plant and hull damage claims. We investigate the cause and extent of hull & machinery damage on behalf of underwriters, insurers and P&I clubs. TMC is also regularly involved in bunker disputes providing:

    • Onboard investigation into various bunker fuel problems
    • Attend joint bunker sampling
    • Conducting bunker quantity surveys
    • Attendance at fuel testing laboratories to witness fuel analysis and testing
  6. Cargo Damage

    Cargo damage surveys are a significant part of TMC’s workload. Our cargo consultants are Master Mariners, with both extensive sea-going and shore-based experience of a wide range of commodities. TMC is able to provide accurate assessments of cause, nature and extent of damage to cargoes. Our consultants are generally acknowledged to have expertise in the following areas;

    • Steel and steel products,
    • Forest products,
    • Grains,
    • Coal, Ores,
    • Ro-ro stowage,
    • Refrigerated perishables,
    • Containers,
    • Project-cargo, Break-bulk, Out-of-gauge cargo,
    • Crude oil, Oil products, LPG and LNG.

    TMC has attended several cargo liquefaction cases and is able to provide expert advice on disputes arising from the liquefaction of bulk cargoes, such as mineral ores. For specific expertise on the mechanics of liquefaction TMC works closely with the Wolfson Institute at the University of Greenwich, acknowledged experts in flow moisture properties.