If the IRAN HAMZEH was cited last year by leading firm URIA as the high-profile case of the year 2008 in Spanish shipping litigation, this year 2009, without a doubt, the case to be cited is the casualty of MSC SHENZHEN while entering the dry dock of Cernaval ship yard ,with a pilot on board and assisted by four tugs.
MSC SHENZHEN case can be mirrored with IRAN HAMZEH in some of its circumstances, eg both casualties occurred with pilot on board and the assistance of tugs, involving both very substantial claims. The liabilities of tugs and pilot are questioned in both instances. However, in our view the lesson from MV SHENZHEN case is clear, seven years after The Prestige case, Algeciras Bay is grateful for CERNAVAL’ s decision to close the dry dock gate, preventing the spill of fuel oil from polluting the Bay.
It is a paradox or, maybe not, that all four teams of shipping lawyers involved in IRAN HAMZEH litigation, are at the MSC SHENZHEN case; Arizon representing the shipowners in IRAN HAMZEH, and the ship yard in MSC SHENZHEN.