21 March 2006




VESSEL & Interveners

1 - IMO Number : 9112272 2 - Name of Ship : HYUNDAI FORTUNE
3 - Call Sign : 3FLG6 4 - Gross Tonnage : 64 054
5 - Type of Ship : Container Ship 6 -Year of Build : 1996
7 - Flag : Panama 8 -Status of Ship : In Service
9 -   Registred Owner : EMF INTERNATIONAL 10 - Address :

66 Chokson-dong,


Seoul, Korea

11 - Ship Manager :

Hyundai Merchant Marine

12 - Address :

66 Chokson-dong,


Seoul, Korea

13 - Classification Society : Korean Register of Shipping 14 - P&I

Britannia Steamship Insurance Association Ltd

15 - Surveyor :   16 - Sollicitor :  
17 - Hull Underwriters : XL Group (as lead) 18 - Cargo Underwriters :  
19 - Others : Salvors : SvitzerWijsmuller 20 - Others :



NB : Information 1 to 14 are extracted from the database EQUASIS. Information are updated at the date of the casualty.

Information from 15 to 20 were found on public websites




The 21 March 2006, the HYUNDAI FORTUNE suffered an explosion on board near the coasts of Yemen. The cause of the explosion could be fireworks.






Agrandir le plan




Date :

10 October 2007 Source : Lloyds List


NYK seeks damages for Hyundai Fortune loss

By Roger Pearson, James Brewer and Janet Porter Monday 8 October 2007

LEADING Japanese shipping group NYK has lodged a massive compensation claim in the wake of the explosion and fire on the Hyundai Fortune boxship in 2006, as many of the leading names in the industry manoeuvre over the costly financial implications.

Key cargo interests are unable so far to quantify their claims because the salvage issues have yet to be settled or arbitrated, but the sums could be huge.

Half a dozen carriers are facing claims under the multiple bills of lading issued in relation to the containership, which has already sparked insurance claims expected to be in the region of $300m.

NYK is suing Hyundai Merchant Marine, the owner of the 5,551 teu ship, for damages for alleged breach of contract. The vessel was fully laden on a voyage from Asia to Europe when containers exploded off the coast of Yemen.

A writ issued in the High Court in London on September 25 recalled that initially a cargo of fireworks, or a terrorist act, was blamed for the blast, but these theories were later discounted.

The contract between NYK and HMM was made partly in writing, and partly by conduct, for the exchange and sharing of slots on major liner routes, according to the writ.

NYK is a member of the Grand Alliance, while the owners of Hyundai Fortune are members of the New World Alliance.

Germany’s Hapag Lloyd, a member of the same consortium as NYK, has already lodged a similar claim for damages.

The NYK writ said that, after the explosion, fire raged in the ship for days and the stricken vessel had to be towed to safety at Salalah.

Industry experts explained that at this stage, in what is bound to be one of the most complex affairs in marine insurance history, no one is willing to say for certain what caused the conflagration, and who or what was to blame.

Cargo interests have for this reason been covering their bases: for instance, by tabling its writ, NYK is protecting its right, in the event it were proven a liable party, of recovery against the shipowner.

A fire defence under the Hague Visby rules will allow a carrier to defend claims as long as the fire is not its fault.

Most of the leading specialists in the field are involved in some aspect of the Hyundai Fortune tussle.

Philip Roose, a partner at law firm Clyde & Co, has instructions from more than 60 underwriters of cargo valued at more than $100m.

Cargo interests are especially sensitive because they have to put up guarantees whether or not their property is damaged.

Hyundai Merchant Marine is among those which potentially face claims: others include MOL, Yang Ming, APL, OOCL and MISC. More than 500 containers were destroyed in the blaze in the Gulf of Aden off Yemen, but salvage crews managed to save some of the containers.

The ship was carrying seven containers of fireworks, as well as DVDs, tractor parts, furniture, chemical solvent, and a £250,000 ($500,000) air barrier to be used in safety fences for Grand Prix racing.


Date :

July and August 2006 Source : Lloyds List


London, Aug 8 - Container Carrier Hyundai Fortune is currently in Dubai Roads, off the drydock.


London, July 6 - New fireworks are threatened over efforts to resolve cargo claims in the Container Carrier Hyundai Fortune case, with fears that claimants could have a huge struggle to get their money. Underwriters have commissioned both fire experts and fireworks experts to reach a conclusion over what caused the massive explosion and blaze on the Hyundai Merchant Marine containership. A leading cargo claims consultant said the determination would decide whether the recovery is against the shipowner, or against the manufacturer and shippers of fireworks or potentially other hazardous items. Although the cargo included fireworks, there remains controversy over the cause of the accident and, as speculation stands at present, any dangerous cargo, perhaps unspecified by the shipper, could be to blame. Should liability be pinned on a wayward shipper, the chances of finding him or his assets  would be about nil, a senior recoveries expert told Lloyds List. A key issue will be whether the carrier exercised full care in handling and positioning a dangerous cargo on board, for instance well away from any source of heat. Recovery action could proceed clearly against the carrier if that company were alleged to have been negligent. So complex is the web of commercial interests involved in the Hyundai Fortune consignment that instructions are still arriving from cargo underwriters at law firms and specialist cargo recovery businesses, with most of the work coming into London. Intense work is already under way. While on the legal front Clyde & Co is representing interests collectively with $100m worth of cargo, independent recovery firm WK Webster has been asked to recoup losses on behalf of more than 70 insurance companies for cargo said to be worth some $30m. WE Cox Claims Group is acting for several overseas clients who are seeking substantial sums and other competitors have additional slices of such work. Surveyor LGSA of London is appointed to carry out work in the common interest for the general average aspect of the case. While a first instinct has been to blame fireworks, some experts say it is unlikely that if correct loading procedures were followed they could have caused such devastation. Proponents of the fireworks theory saw support in May from an unconnected incident when more than 200 containers were destroyed or badly damaged by a series of explosions and a huge blaze in the Chinese port of Changsha. It was said that the containers were loaded with fireworks waiting to be exported to the US or Europe. At least seven people were injured and the blast shook houses elsewhere in the capital of Hunan province. The containership blaze caused such alarm in maritime circles that some lines, including Hyundai Merchant Marine, prohibited the carriage of fireworks, although this will call for heightened vigilance against cargo misdeclarations, with procedural rules differing according to country. Independent fireworks expert Charles Weeth, who investigated the Hanjin Pennsylvania fire, has said that the formulae for modern fireworks are stable and only a series of packing, handling or other mistakes could lead to their ignition.



Date :

30 June 2006 Source : Lloyds List


Hyundai Fortune feeds insurance claims frenzy Lawsuits may go on for years, writes James Brewer


MORE than 50 underwriters have instructed law firm Clyde & Co to represent their interests in the cargo which was stowed on the Hyundai Fortune, the huge containership that was severely damaged by explosion and fire off Aden in March.

In what could become the most involved cargo insurance case in history, Clyde has been appointed to what appears to be the lion’s share of such work. Clients are said to have had cover for more than $100m worth of goods.

This may be getting on for 45% of the total value of the consignment, which is unofficially estimated to be worth $225m although some earlier estimates were higher.

Other law firms have been instructed, but Clyde’s nearest competitor in volume terms is thought to be representing insurers of around $11m of merchandise.

Some of the claims for damage and lost time could run for years. Except in cases of total loss cargo interests have had to put up guarantees whether or not their property is damaged.

There are two separate guarantees, one for the salvors and one for the shipowners by way of general average. These will be held pending the conclusion of the salvage arbitration and publication of the general average adjustment, the latter perhaps taking several years.

Goldenport Holdings, headed by Paris Dragnis, has since bought the 5,551 teu ship for $13m and is expected to contract a yard in China for extensive repairs.

A large surveying operation has been carried out at Salalah, Oman, which was the port of refuge and where around 3,300 containers were discharged, at the north European hub ports and at the ports of final destination.

The survey was co-ordinated by loss adjusting firm Cunningham Lindsey in relation to cargo transhipped at Salalah.

Now cargo interests are proceeding to claim under their insurance policies where cargo has been affected. Most underwriters are expected to treat as a total loss cargo which remains on board.

Philip Roose, the partner responsible for Hyundai Fortune claims in the marine transport practice at Clyde & Co, said: “There is an ongoing process of evaluating whether cargo interests have a recovery claim against the involved carriers and/or any third parties. To assist in this process the fire expert appointed by cargo interests has attended on board the vessel at Salalah to carry out an investigation.”

Many bill of lading carriers are involved and potential claims are building up against the likes of Hyundai Merchant Marine, MOL, Yang Ming, APL, OOCL and MISC.

The length and complexity of the issue will depend on whether there is merit in a recovery action against one or more parties that could take years to resolve.

Hyundai Merchant Marine is reported to have begun tonnage limitation proceedings in Seoul in an effort to limit its liability.


Date :

24 Avril 2006 Source : CESAM


Le navire a déchargé à Salalah un total de 2 249 conteneurs réputés sains sauf éventuels effets de chaleur ou fumée aux conteneurs qui se trouvaient en position 28 à 39. Ces conteneurs sont / seront réexpédiés par les navires suivants : - Hyundai Shangai : ETA Rotterdam le 30 avril, - MOL Avantage : ETA Rotterdam le 6 mai, - APL Ciprine : ETA Salalah le 28 avril, - Hyndai Liberty : ETA Salalah le 2 mai, - APL Iolite : ETA Salalah le 6 mai. Les sauveteurs ont maintenant fixé leur demande à 30% des valeurs CAF et le taux de perception des contributions provisoires a été fixé à 10%, de sorte que doivent être acquittées, pour des marchandises non assurées, des contributions provisoires totalisant 40%. Le corps du navire a été remorqué en rade de Salalah avec les marchandises détruites et celles partiellement avariées toujours à bord en l'attente qu'une décision puisse être prise concernant leur devenir.


Date :

25 Mars 2006 Source : Lloyds List


A RECORD total insurance claim affecting all the world’s main cargo markets is shaping up from the Hyundai Fortune Blaze. Underwriters said it was too early to estimate claims, but one said the overall exposure would be “massive”. A host of cargo recovery and legal experts are being instructed by insurers in London, the US, Europe, Malaysia, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and other markets. The overall bill is expected to be much higher than that which followed the 2002 fire on the Hanjin Pennsylvania. With more than 5,000 containers, the Hyundai Fortune is a bigger ship, but a complicating factor is that the cargo was supplied by feederships. Even the insurance market’s most experienced practitioners were taken aback by the spectacular blaze which engulfed the ship’s stern some 120 miles east of Aden, 60 miles offshore. Lloyd’s Open Form was signed with Wijsmuller Salvage amid hopes that the vessel, which was bound for Europe, could be saved. A key question yesterday was whether Aden or any neighbouring port would accept the stricken ship, as a port of refuge, a move which might create practical problems for other shipping in the region. An initial theory as to the cause of the conflagration pointed to seven containers of fireworks. A legal department spokesman at Hyundai Merchant Marine said that the company was not prepared to say that the containers were the actual source of the explosion, but they were located in the area where the explosion took place. Staff were still combing the manifest to see if any other dangerous cargoes were located in the same area. Seven cargoes of fireworks belonged to a Hong Kong manufacturer. The containers were destined for Hamburg and Le Havre. Wijsmuller’s firefighting and salvage team were still battling hard to dampen the flames. As Lloyd’s List went to press SvitzerWijsmuller Salvage had been tackling the blaze on the Hyundai Fortune since yesterday afternoon. When the first fire-fighting tug had arrived on scene, containers in front of the accommodation block were also being consumed in the flames. But Hendrick Land of SvitzerWijsmuller Salvage said there had been no worsening of the situation since then. Three more fire-fighting tugs are due on site tomorrow. It was too early to say whether fireworks had caused the explosion, he stressed. A Wijsmuller team had flown from the Ijmuiden-based firm on a chartered aircraft to Yemen and had boarded a tug in Aden. They were the first to arrive. Wijsmuller also had a tug working for the Salalah Port Authority, which had agreed to release it for the salvage operation. This vessel is capable of firefighting to the tune of 2,500 cu m an hour. The ocean-going salvage tug SmitWijs Rotterdam is proceeding at full speed towards the location with an estimated time of arrival of three to four days. Other salvage and firefighting equipment is also planned to be moved in by air shortly, while other salvage experts will be brought in from SvitzerWijsmuller Salvage offices in South Korea, Singapore and South Africa.


Date :

23 Mars 2006 Source :

Lloyds List


A LEGAL department spokesman at Hyundai Merchant Marine said seven containers of fireworks may have been the source of an explosion and subsequent blaze on board the company’s 5,551 teu Hyundai Fortune on Wednesday afternoon. The vessel remains ablaze 120 miles east of Aden and 60miles off the coast. The spokesman said that the company was not prepared to say that the seven containers were the source of the explosion but that they were located in the area where the explosion took place. However staff are still combing the manifest to see if any other dangerous cargoes were located in the same area. The seven cargoes of fireworks belong to a Hong Kong manufacturer. The containers were destined for Hamburg and Le Havre.


Date :

23 Mars 2006 Source :

Lloyds List


CARGO insurers face huge claims from the loss of hundreds of containers ablaze on a Hyundai Merchant Marine ship off the coast of Yemen. The 5,551 teu Hyundai Fortune caught fire around midday Monday after an explosion in one of the containers and was still burning fiercely yesterday afternoon when salvage tugs arrived on the scene. At that stage, the fire that began in the stern was spreading to the accommodation block and beyond, and the priority was to contain rather than fight the blaze. That is likely to take several days, a spokesman for salvor SvitzerWijsmuller told Lloyd’s List last night. The ship was carrying the equivalent of 5,100 20ft containers, HMM advised partner lines, and most would have been loaded. The value of the lost cargo alone could exceed $100m, given the average worth of containerised freight shipped from Asia to Europe. Insurers use a rule of thumb figure of $35,000 teu, but note that some containers such as temperature-controlled boxes could be carrying up to $1m worth of consumer goods or produce. Brokers say the hull value of the 1996-built Hyundai Fortune would probably be $35m-$40m. Replacing it with a new ship of the same size would cost $75m-$80m. It is far too soon to say whether the ship will be declared a write-off, but photographs and a video clip show that at least half the vessel is on fire, with flames clearly visible and dense black smoke billowing hundreds of feet into the air. But some of what appears to be smoke may be steam, said one expert who had studied the footage. At least seven of the world’s top liner shipping companies have containers on board. A large number of boxes have been destroyed or fallen overboard. The ship is one of the first on a westbound sailing for the new space swapping agreement between the New World Alliance and the Grand Alliance. It is deployed in the Asia-Europe Express service that HMM operates in partnership with APL and MOL, and had left Singapore last week bound for Rotterdam where it was scheduled to arrive on March 30. NYK, OOCL, Hapag-Lloyd and Malaysia’s MISC also had cargo on the ship. The fire followed an explosion in the stern of the vessel. The ship has been evacuated and all 32 crew members are safe, HMM said yesterday. There were no fatalities, but one seafarer was injured. As there was no direct communication with the vessel up to late yesterday HMM said it was difficult to be more precise as to the extent of the damage. “The priority at this time is to bring the fire under control with fire tugs standing by, and then bring the vessel into port within the vicinity where a full inspection can take place of the vessel and customers cargo can be transferred to alternative vessels and brought to Europe at the earliest opportunity,” the company added. The Panama flag ship is entered with the Britannia P&I club and classed with the Korean Register of Shipping. A Dutch air defence and command frigate rescued the crew. The Hyundai Fortune was around 120 miles east of Aden, 60 miles off coast, at the time of the accident. The Dutch destroyer was later relieved by the Royal Navy’s HMS Lancaster that continued to provide navigation warning to other shipping in the area. Whether or not the vessel is eventually declared a constructive total loss, it could still return to service. The 4,400 teu Hanjin Pennsylvania was so badly damaged by a fire in 2002 that it was sold for scrap, only to be rescued from the breakers and is now operating as the Norasia Bellatrix.


Date :

22 mars 2006 Source :

Lloyds List


The containership Hyundai Fortune, ablaze off the Yemen coast is still float, owner Hyundai Merchant Marine said this afternoon. The Korean line was reacting to market rumours that the burning ship had sunk. A spokesman told Lloyd's List that it had received subsequent reports from ships on standby that the 5,550 teu Panama flag vessel was "still there". Salvage vessels are scheduled to reach the fully laden ship late afternoon, London time. At that stage, more information about the state of the vessel will be available. Photographs show that at least half the ship is on fire, with dense black smoke billowing from it, and dozens of containers destroyed or overboard. The ship is deployed in Asia-Europe Express service that HMM operates in partnership with APL and MOL, and had left Singapore last week bound for Rotterdam where it was scheduled to arrive on March 30, before proceeding to Antwerp, Hamburg, Thamesport and Le Havre. The ship caught fire following a cargo explosion in the stern of the vessel. The vessel has been evacuated and all 32 crew members are safe, HMM said. There were no fatalities, but one crew member has been injured. As the vessel has no direct communication at this time, HMM said it was difficult to be more precise as to the extent of the damage to the vessel. "The priority at this time is to bring the fire under control with fire tugs standing by, and then bring the vessel into port within the near vicinity where a full inspection can take place of the vessel and customers cargo can be transferred to alternative vessels and brought to Europe at the earliest opportunity," the company added. There are no exact numbers yet about how many containers are damaged, and how many have been lost.


Date :

21 Mars 2006

Source :

Marine Nationale


Marine Nationale

Le mardi 21 mars 2006, le porte-conteneurs battant pavillon panaméen, « Hyundaï Fortune », se déclare en difficulté au sud des côtes yéménites. La frégate néerlandaise « De Zeven Provicien », plateforme de commandement de la Task Force 150, déployée en océan Indien, se porte au secours du navire qui est en feu. Une explosion se produit vers 13h40 à bord du « Hyundaï Fortune ». Le « De Zeven Provicien », demande du soutien au commandant de la force française TF 473, en mission AGAPANTHE 06. Deux frégates du groupe aéronaval français sont immédiatement détachées pour cette assistance, la frégate française Montcalm et la frégate britannique Lancaster. En début d’après-midi, le « De Zeven Provicien » recueille les 27 marins coréens et chinois du « Hyundaï Fortune » à son bord. L’état d’un des marins évacués nécessite une intervention chirurgicale. L’hélicoptère Lynx de la frégate Montcalm le prend en charge et le dirige vers le porte-avions Charles de Gaulle. Après des soins à bord du porte-avions, un hélicoptère PUMA de l’ALAT (aviation légère de l’armée de terre) embarqué à bord du Charles de Gaulle procède à son évacuation finale vers l’hôpital militaire « Bouffard » de Djibouti. Le travail des bâtiments de la Task Force 473 continue: la frégate britannique Lancaster est auprès du bâtiment sinistré afin d’assurer la sécurité nautique dans la zone pendant que « De Zeven Provicien » s’est dirigé vers Aden pour y débarquer les 26 autres marins.





The explosion could have been caused by fireworks


Sources :  



Hull :

USD 70 M Cargo : Between 100 & 300 Millions USD
Liability : TBA Fees : TBA
Others : TBA    

Sources :

Lloyd's list - Cargo Law



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