CBC News in Canada is reporting that the owners of the M/V Clipper Adventurer, which ran aground last summer in the Nothwest Passage, is suing the Canadian government.
Adventurer Owner Ltd. of Nassau, Bahamas, is seeking at least $15 million from Canada, including $12 million in repair and salvage costs for damage to the vessel’s hull, $2.6 million for loss of business, and $350,000 in other costs.
The ship’s owners blame Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans for failing to inform the vessel owners and other mariners about an underwater rock shelf.
The nautical charts on board the Clipper Adventurer at the time of the grounding indicated there were 29 meters of water when in fact there there were only three meters of water at the location of the grounding.
We blogged about this last year:
Clipper Adventurer Cruise Ship Runs Aground in the Arctic
"Uncharted Rocks" and Other Tall Tales – Clipper Adventurer Ran Into A Charted Hazard
Although Canada has an obligation to update maps and charts for its waters, this seems to be a difficult case for the vessel owners. They were in the rugged waters of the Northwest Passage and apparently were not using a local pilot who was familiar with the waters. Were they using a depth sounder? Sounds like they were not exercising diligence sailing in these waters without a pilot or correct charts.
Some observers are suggesting that Canada should counter sue the vessel owners for the expenses of the Canadian Coast Guard for rescuing the passengers.
Photo: Canadian Coast Guard/Canadian Press via CBC News