Casualty Information

DALI, Containership (Built 2015, 95,128 Grt)

Allision, Baltimore, 26 March 2024

Cargo – Up to 9,962 TEUs of containerised cargo

Voyage – Rotational voyage calling at New York & New Jersey, Port of Virginia, Baltimore (USA), Salalah (Oman), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Tanjung Pelepas (Malaysia), Yantian, Xiamen, Ningbo, Yangshan (China), Busan (South Korea)

-------------Update 16.04.2024-------------

* It has now been reported that the FBI has opened a criminal investigation into the incident in which it is said they will in part investigate whether the crew left the port knowing the vessel had system issues. Law enforcement officials have been observed boarding the vessel for the purpose of carrying out a "court-approved search". This latest investigation, which is separate to the detailed NTSB investigation, may also help to shed light on the cause of the incident which will be essential in connection with the handling of claims arising out of the casualty, including the possible defence of claims against cargo interests for contributions in general average.

* With general average having now been declared, it is essential for cargo interests to swiftly provide acceptable general average security to reduce any avoidable delays once the vessel is removed and arrangements for delivery can begin to be made. To submit any new claims for cargo on board please use our updated dedicated DALI GA document portal which can accessed at the following link . Claims can also be submitted via email at or by using our website at .

* Salvage work continues with sections of the bridge being removed and some 38 containers reportedly having been removed as at 11th April 2024. Officials have also confirmed that a fourth body was recovered after salvage divers located what they believed to be one of the construction vehicles during their inspections.

* Please contact us urgently if you are concerned with any cargo on board this vessel so that we may immediately start taking steps to protect your interests.

-------------Update 11.04.2024-------------


* Further to our recent Casualty Advices, it is understood that General Average may now have been declared.

* Consequently, General Average security will be required from all Cargo Interests prior to the delivery of their cargo, and we will be able to assist in that regard. We have automated systems in place to aid the collection of documents and the provision of security and we are in contact with the nominated Average Adjusters to discuss the security requirements.

* To submit any new claims for cargo on board, please use our GA document portal accessed at the following link or email us at or use our website at . The portal is designed to streamline and better organise the submission of documents that are required to ensure prompt provision of GA security.

* We would strongly urge that any instructions and/or documents are provided to us as soon as practically possible so that we may ensure that suitable GA securities are issued in a timely manner to allow for the release of cargoes upon reaching their ports of destination.

* We also confirm having instructed an expert marine surveyor to investigate the cause of the allision so that we may evaluate the merits of any potential defences to contribution in GA that may be available to cargo interests.

* For any cargo that is reported to be damaged, we have instructed a local surveyor and are ready to assist with all necessary cargo surveys, loss adjustments and recovery / subrogation efforts against the responsible parties.

* We are already instructed for cargo on board the DALI, this will result in economies of scale in respect of any third-party costs incurred. We would therefore recommend that you contact us as soon as possible if you are concerned with any cargo on board the vessel so that we can assist you.

-------------Update 03.04.2024-------------

* Further to our recent reports, it is now confirmed that Singapore-based Owners, Grace Ocean, and Shipmanager, Synergy Marine, have filed a limitation of liability court petition in the Federal Court of Maryland seeking to cap their liability for claims arising from the allision. The petition claims that liability should be limited to USD 42.5m, representing the value of the vessel once deductions are made for estimated salvage and repair costs plus freight. If limitation can be sustained, and at this level, this will represent a fraction of the losses sustained as a result of the incident. It remains to be seen whether this limit may be challenged on the facts of the incident.

* In conjunction with the commencement of the limitation proceedings, the Owners and Shipmanager made a motion asking the court to accept an interim statement for value and to enter a restraining order that would require claims to be filed before 24th September 2024. Both proposed orders were entered by the court.

* It is not yet known if the Owners will be declaring General Average, but which remains a possibility. The damage to the vessel is extensive and the operation to remove the debris and vessel itself is reported by the authorities to be more complicated then first expected following recent underwater surveys. Parts of the wreckage underwater is said to have completely collapsed making it difficult for engineers to identify where and how to cut the wreckage.

* We are well placed to assist anyone that is concerned with cargo on board this vessel and recommend that you contact us as soon as possible so we can immediately start taking steps to protect your interests.

* As reported previously, we have instructed a local surveyor to assist with cargo surveys where cargo may be expected to have been affected, and we have retained an expert marine surveyor / engineer to carry out independent investigations on behalf of our clients.

* Operations to free the DALI and restore access to Baltimore Port are underway. One channel, an 11-foot-deep passageway, has been cleared allowing small vessels to make it into and out the Port of Baltimore and a second reported channel, between 20-25 feet deep, is planned. The main channel cannot be cleared until it is deemed safe to move the DALI from the site. Work has also been delayed by unstable weather requiring planned works to be paused until it is safe to proceed.

* Should you be concerned with cargo on board the DALI please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.

-------------Update 27.03.2024-------------

*Further to our initial report, it has now been widely reported that the vessel suffered a blackout shortly before striking the bridge, and these reports seem to be corroborated not only by video footage but also by the vessel itself which we understand issued a "mayday" a short time before the allision. It is further understood that the power failure or blackout resulted in a loss of steering such that the vessel was unable to take corrective steps to avoid the bridge. Further detailed investigations will be required to establish the precise cause of these events and it will be some time before the full facts are known.

* It has also been reported that US investigators from the NTSB and US Coast Guard have attended on board and taken custody of the vessel's data recorder and other evidence. As is usual for serious casualty events in the US, there will be a detailed investigation into this casualty. That said, W K Webster has retained an expert marine surveyor / engineer to carry out independent investigations on behalf of our clients and access to the vessel will be sought as soon as practically possible.

* For any cargo that is found to be directly affected by the incident, we already have a local surveyor in attendance to carry out cargo surveys. Again, it is likely to be some time before the casualty is secured and the vessel taken to a place of safety following which inspections may be possible.

*There will inevitably be significant delays to all cargo on board, but also to cargo / containers ashore awaiting shipment where inbound vessels are now unable to reach the port, and where in consequence cargo may need to be moved to alternative ports prior to shipment. Any temperature or time sensitive cargoes in this situation may result in losses and we can also assist in respect of such cargoes.

* As already mentioned in our initial report, this incident may also give rise to a declaration of General Average and having reviewed the position further, the prospect of General Average being declared may now be more likely given the apparent significant costs that will need to be incurred to extricate the vessel from its current position and bring it to a place of safety before considering on-carrying cargoes to their intended destinations. It is also possible that salvage services required by the vessel may be rendered on LOF or similar terms. In the event of either a declaration of General Average and/or LOF Salvage, securities will need to be provided for all cargo on board. We would encourage cargo interested parties to contact us at the earliest possible opportunity so that we may start to protect your interests in this respect.

*Whilst first emergency responders were able to recover two people who were on the bridge at the time of the incident, sadly it has been reported that six people are now presumed to have died and the search and rescue operation is understood to have been suspended.

*We shall provide further updates as further information comes to light.

-------------Update 26.03.2024-------------

* It has been reported overnight that large container ship, DALI (IMO: 9697428) with a GT of 95,128, allided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge crossing the Patapsco River, Baltimore, USA at approximately 01.30 hours (local time) on 26 March 2024.

* Significant sections of the bridge have collapsed as a consequence of the allision and a fire is understood to have ignited on board the vessel. There are unconfirmed reports that the vessel may have grounded.

* There is likely to be significant cargo loss and damage as a result of this very serious incident, including to a number of containers which are reported to be hanging from the bridge. It also seems almost certain that the vessel will not be proceeding with the voyage in the near future resulting in serious delays to all cargo on board.

* Very sadly, it is also reported that around 20 workers on the bridge and a number of vehicles crossing the bridge at the time of the allision fell into the water.  

* This incident is in its very early stages, but it seems there will be substantial cargo damage, loss and delay. As a result, we have already deployed a local surveyor to commence investigations, and are on standby to conduct all necessary cargo surveys, loss adjustments and recovery / subrogation efforts against the responsible parties.

* It is not yet clear whether this incident will give rise to a declaration of General Average, but we will be monitoring events closely. If General Average is declared, security will be required by all cargo on board prior to delivery and we will be able to assist with the provision of such security.

* We recommend that you contact us urgently if you are concerned with any cargo on board this vessel so that we can immediately start taking steps to protect your interests.