Seaworthiness and Ship Crew
The obligation NYPE (New York Produce Exchange) in lines 21–24 that the vessel be ‘in every way fitted’ also extends to the crew.
It will be recalled that the Court of Appeal in The HONG KONG FIR held that the vessel was not fitted for ordinary cargo service in view of the fact that the engine-room crew were both incompetent and inadequate in number.
More recently, Creswell, J., held that the EURASIAN DREAM (2002) was unseaworthy due to her lack of a properly instructed and trained crew, who did not receive any familiarisation training. She was a car carrier that caught fire and became a constructive total loss in 1998. The cargo owners claimed for the loss of their vehicles and Cresswell, J. held that the fire would not have broken out if the Master and crew had been properly trained and if the vessel had possessed a safety manual, rather than indigestible and obsolete documentation of no real relevance to car carriers. No records were kept of checks having been carried out on fire-fighting equipment.