Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from May, 2013

Marine Terminal Liable for Submerged Abandoned Anchor

Today the 3rd Circuit in the ATHOS I matter issued a critical maritime ruling that held that a marine terminal may be liable for a major casualty that occurred when a vessel, on approach, struck a submerged abandoned anchor.


Picture of ATHOS I after casualty taken from www.ceoe.udel.edu
The facts of the case are simple: as the oil tanker M/T ATHOS I neared Paulsboro, New Jersey, after a journey from Venezuela, an abandoned ship anchor lay hidden on the bottom of the Delaware River squarely within the ATHOS I’s path and only 900 feet away from its berth. Although dozens of ships had docked since the anchor was deposited in the River, none had reported encountering it. The ATHOS I struck the anchor, which punctured the ship’s hull and caused approximately 263,000 gallons of crude oil to spill into the River. The cleanup following the casualty was successful, but expensive.

The appeal was the result of three interested parties attempting to apportion the monetary liability. The first party…