A fully laden oil tanker, The Argonaut, was carrying a cargo of crude oil from the Middle East to Rotterdam in the Netherlands when it collided with a container vessel near the entry to the port of Rotterdam. It was a very foggy day and it is not clear who is responsible. Oil from the cargo started to leak into the sea in large quantities and Homer Shipping (HS), the owner of The Argonaut, instructed an international company, Ithica Salvage (IS) to save the vessel and her cargo. Ithica Salvage agreed to take on the work subject to the signing by both parties of a 2011 edition of the Lloyds Open Form salvage agreement including a SCOPIC clause.
The maritime authorities in the Netherlands insisted that the vessel be immediately towed away from the Netherlands coast and into international waters. Ithica Salvage having successfully taken all the crew off the vessel carried out the Governments instruction but in the course of movement the vessel broke in two and sank.
Ithica Salvage now claims from Homer Shipping in respect of the saving of the crew and the cost of the work it has put in to the operation.
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