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Maritime and Offshore Emergency Response

Our Maritime and Offshore Emergency Response Team has extensive experience handling the practical and legal issues associated with marine casualties and offshore emergencies.

Comprised of seasoned Admiralty lawyers and ex-mariners, our team assists insurers, owners and other stakeholders in connection with a wide range of incidents, including collisions, groundings, FFO, capsizings, fires and pollution globally but with particularly expertise in Europe, Asia, South-America and Africa.

With our team strategically placed across locations in Europe and Asia, our members can be on site at very short notice and are available to assist clients 24/7, 365 days a year.  Equally we are able to investigate incidents and collect evidence remotely.

Post-casualty, the team deal with a variety of issues, including post-casualty analysis, causation, legal liability, official inquiries,  negotiations and litigation.

We offer

  • Overall casualty management (physical and remote handling)
  • Shipboard investigation, taking witness statements and collecting evidence
  • Analysing VDR, ECDIS, AIS and CCTV data, preparing incident reconstructions etc
  • Rapid initial assessment of facts and legal issues
  • Contact and liaison with authorities
  • Assisting Owners with reports to Flag State, Port Authorities, Oil Majors etc
  • Support to owners’ and insurers’ response teams
  • Crew and owner protection
  • Advice on media response
  • Forum selection, guarantees/security and arrest, including preliminary assessment of cargo claims, pollution, salvage, wreck removal, limitation of liability, general average etc.
  • Retaining and cooperating with technical experts, for example fire experts, pollution experts, navigation experts, naval architects etc.
  • Salvage and wreck removal – strategic advice, negotiating and drafting contracts etc.
  • Lead counsel on multi jurisdiction casualties
  • Sea-going experience and knowledge

Our emergency response team regularly assists in high-profile cases:

  • MV Kaami – Grounding, wreck removal, off Scotland
  • Viking Sky – Blackout, heavy weather, claims, Norway
  • KNM Helge Ingstad c/w Sola TS – Refloating of navy frigate, claims, Norway
  • Northguider – Grounding, removal, Spitzbergen
  • Antea c/w Star Centurion – Total loss, claims, Indonesia
  • Geos – Explosion on offshore exploration drill ship, fatality, wreck removal, Malaysia
  • Cheshire – Decomposition of fertilizer, total loss, off Gran Canaria
  • Stolt Gulf Mishref – Loss of propulsion of parcel tanker, GA, cargo issues, Red Sea
  • TS Taipei – Grounding and wreck removal of bulk carrier, pollution, cargo, Taiwan
  • Stolt Commitment c/w Thorco Cloud – Wreck removal, cargo claims, multi-jurisdiction litigation, Singapore Strait, Indonesia
  • Fair Afroditi – Explosion, sale of oil tanker, Lomé, Togo
  • Troll Solution – Punch through of jack-up rig; fatalities, wreck removal, Gulf of Mexico
  • Sorrento – Fire on ro-ro passenger vessel, CTL, cargo damage, off Mallorca
  • Goodfaith – Grounding of bulk carrier; wreck removal, Andros, Greece
  • FPSO Cidade de Sao Mateus – Explosion, fatalities, salvage, Espirito Santo Basin, Brazil
  • USNS Sgt Matej Kocak – Grounding and salvage off Okinawa, Japan
  • Asian Empire – Fire and salvage of car carrier, cargo damage, Pacific Ocean
  • Luno – Wreck removal of grounded bulk carrier, Bayonne, France
  • Chamarel– Wreck removal of grounded cable laying vessel, Namibia
  • Gelso M – Wreck removal of grounded chemical tanker, Italy
  • Bareli – Grounding of container ship; oil pollution, cargo damage, wreck removal, China
  • Rena – Wreck removal of grounded container ship, New Zealand
  • B Oceania – Wreck removal of bulk carrier; c/w MV Xin Tai Hai, Malacca Strait
  • Godafoss – Grounding; oil pollution, GA, salvage of multipurpose container ship, Norway
  • Jupiter 1 – Wreck removal of capsized semisub accommodation rig, Gulf of Mexico
  • West Atlas – Wreck removal of drilling rig; blowout and fire, Timor Sea, Australia
  • Full City – Grounding; oil pollution, refloating of bulk carrier, Norway
  • Bourbon Dolphin – Capsizing and total loss of anchor handler; casualties, Shetland
  • Repubblica di Genova – Refloating and sale of capsized roro ship; cargo damage, Belgium
  • Cembay – Grounding on coral reef; salvage of cement carrier, oil pollution, cargo damage, Mexico
  • Big Orange XVII – Well stimulation vessel c/w platform, Ekofisk field, North Sea
  • Server – Grounding; oil pollution, wreck removal of bulk carrier, Norway
  • Alaska Rainbow – Cargo ship c/w passenger ferry, River Mersey, England
  • Hyundai No. 105 – Car carrier c/w VLCC Kaminesan; cargo damage, wreck removal, Singapore Strait
  • Panam Serena– Explosion and fire; salvage and sale of chemical tanker, terminal claims, casualties, Sardinia, Italy
  • Vans Princess – Grounding of roro vessel; oil pollution, cargo damage, Tartous, Syria
  • Tricolor – Car carrier c/w container ship Kariba – Sinking, wreck removal, cargo damage, multi-jurisdiction litigation, English Channel
  • Hual Europe – Grounding of car carrier; fire, oil pollution, cargo damage, wreck removal, Tokyo Bay, Japan
  • Norwegian Dream – Cruise ship c/w container ship Ever Decent; fire, personal injury, cargo damage, salvage, English channel
  • Sun Vista – Fire and total loss of cruise vessel, Malacca Strait
Profile image of Herman Steen
E-mail hst@wr.no

Read our articles on Maritime and Offshore Emergency Response


New Lloyd's Open Form 2024

Lloyd's Salvage Arbitration Branch has released a new Lloyd's Open Form of Salvage Agreement ("LOF 2024"), as well as a new Lloyd’s Salvage Arbitration Clause ("LSAC 2024").


WRECKSTAGE 2024 – new industry standard wreck removal agreement

Yesterday, BIMCO released a new version of WRECKSTAGE, which has long been the industry standard agreement for maritime wreck removal projects where the contractor is remunerated on a lump sum basis. Several changes have been made, the most important being a new optional risk allocation procedure, often referred to as QRA (quantitative risk assessment), which is intended to give greater certainty in the allocation of risks. The result is an improved form which will be warmly welcomed by the industry.


Limitation of liability in light of the MSC Flaminia (No. 2) appeal decision.

The Court of Appeal in London has given further guidance on charterers’ ability to limit liability following the High Court decision in the MSC Flaminia (No. 2) reported in our December 2022 edition, giving some important clarification to the types of limitation claims charterers can make.

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