SHORE CONVEYOR BELT DAMAGE
Vessel arrived at New Mangalore Port and berthed at a coal terminal. After the usual arrival and cargo formalities, unloading commenced. The following day, loading had to be stopped to carry out temporary repairs to the conveyor belt system as large metal pieces had damaged the conveyor belt. Surprisingly, the metal pieces had passed through sieves (grating) two hoppers of the conveyor belt.
A huge claim by the receiving terminal (on behalf of the Receivers) followed. Hence, we were appointed by the Owners P&I Association.
In our investigation, we pointed out that the metallic pieces did not emerge from the Vessel Holds as no parts of the hold were missing or adrift besides holds clean at the commencement of loading.
It is to be noted that since the conveyor belt was of synthetic material, the age of some damages on belt could not be ascertained.
When all the cargo debris was collected at different points of the conveyor belt, the Cause was attributed to the quality of cargo loaded by Shippers at Load Port absolving the Vessel of any liability.
It is understood that the assessed reasonable loss without prejudice was significantly lower amount than claimed by the Terminal.
Lesson to learn for all deck officers is that be vigilant when cargo is being loaded. Do not take it for granted that cargo characteristics matches the quality certificate. Keep an efficient and diligent cargo watch.