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NOR tendered but the vessel had only one anchor - is the NOR valid?

Is the NOR valid, notwithstanding the vessel had only one anchor at the time of tendering it? Point of dispute in London Arbitration 16/19.

Vsl arrived at anchorage and tendered NOR. When pilot boarded, he found that the vessel had only one anchor available (2nd was lost in a storm a month ago!), which had not been reported to the authorities by the Master. Vsl had a COC from Class society valid for 1 more month. Pilot refused to proceed upriver unless an escort tug was hired. Owners decided to wait at anchorage until the second anchor arrived, as it was cheaper than hiring a tug. Vsl proceeded for discharge some 2.5 days later. Charterers considered the NOR to be invalid.


Tribunal found it surprising that Master had not reported to the authorities that it had only one anchor. As per them it was reasonable to require two anchors for river navigation, and in case one is missing then use of stand by tug. This was something owners should have anticipated. Victory for charterers. Not really! Tribunal went on to decide that when NOR was tendered, vsl was ready in all aspects. It was owners’ later decision not to employ a tug which prevented her from completing the voyage. Only the time spent waiting at anchorage for the 2nd anchor was excluded from laytime.



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