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Off-hire clause – delay in obtaining free pratique – vessel off-hire

The Facts

The vessel was chartered for three (3) years on the NYPE form.

The off-hire clause read as follows:

That in the event of loss of time from deficiency and/or default of men or deficiency of stores, fire, breakdown or damage to hull machinery or equipment, grounding, detention by average accidents to ship or cargo, dry docking for the purpose of examination or painting bottom, or by any other cause whatsoever preventing the full working of the vessel, the payment of hire shall cease for the time thereby lost …

During the course of the charter, two crew members were hospitalized at Naples with suspected typhus.

The vessel was ordered to sail from Naples to Lower Buchanan, Liberia to load a cargo at the Lamco iron ore berth.

Despite there being no further cases of illness on board, authorities delayed the granting of free pratique by 29½ hours.

Charterers contended that the vessel was off-hire for this period.


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