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HomeMaritime2021 claims its first casualty - 36x40' containers fall off Ever Liberal

2021 claims its first casualty – 36×40′ containers fall off Ever Liberal

UPDATE 30.01.2021 : It has been reported that the Ever Liberal is back in service.. “The damaged containers were then off-loaded and the minor damage to the hull structure was repaired. The ship received classification society’s approval of seaworthiness and resumed service on 6 January. The incident caused a schedule delay of eight days and Ever Liberal arrived at the anchorage of Los Angeles on 18 January. The ship berthed on 26 January due to port congestion.” the report said..

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The year 2021 is barely off its marks and it has already claimed its first maritime disaster casualty..

Containership EVER LIBERAL, a 7 year old UK Flagged ship was sailing from Busan, South Korea to Los Angeles in USA on the 2nd of January 2021 when it encountered heavy seas and strong winds around 20 nautical miles Southwest of Kyushu, Japan in the East China Sea..

The Ever Liberal, an 8,452 TEU capacity vessel is said to have lost 36×40′ containers overboard with an additional 21×40′ containers collapsing on board within its stacks..

The ship is said to have faced very rough conditions with waves of around 18-20 feet when the incident occurred..

As per Evergreen Marine Corp (EMC) who are the operators of the vessel, there has been no casualties or injuries to the ship’s crew..

Ever Liberal - containers falling into the sea
Image :

The Master of the vessel has notified Japanese Coast Guard of the incident so that they could alert other ships and boats in the vicinity to be alert for any floating containers..

Fleetmon, however, seems to have reported on the 30th Dec already as below

“Dec 30: Many 40-foot containers spotted floating east of Shimokushiki-Jima island and Kyushu coast at 0230 UTC Dec 30, in vicinity 31 21N 129 30E.

Containers may be lost by container ship EVER LIBERAL (IMO 9604160, dwt 104103, capacity 8452 TEU), according to her track/timeline/positions/speed, and most importantly, the fact, that the ship changed her port of destination.

She was en route from Busan to Los Angeles, but at around 0900 UTC Dec 30 changed port of destination, now it’s Tokyo, ETA Dec 31.”

As at the time of the incident it has been advised that none of the containers that have fallen overboard was carrying any hazardous/dangerous goods..

The ship has been diverted to Taipei in Taiwan where it has been berthed since the 3rd January to offload the collapsed containers and to assess any damages to the ship and cargo..

EMC has also advised that it is working with authorities to recover the containers that have fallen on board..

The spate of maritime disasters particularly involving containers falling into the sea and associated damages, claims and General Averages seems to continue..

As I noted in my Shipping and Freight Review of 2020, while 2020 was not as bad as 2019, it had its own fair share of maritime disasters with an important difference that in 2020, authorities seem to have stepped up things a notch in terms of responsibility with ship Captains being personally held accountable for these disasters..

Let us see what 2021 holds in this regard..

But the question is

  • How long will such incidents continue and should the ship Captain be the whole and sole responsible party for such incidents..??
  • Does climate change have any role to play in this increasing trend of maritime disasters..??


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Hariesh Manaadiar
Hariesh Manaadiar
I am Hariesh Manaadiar, the Founder of Shipping and Freight Resource.. I have been in the dynamic shipping and freight industry for over three decades and have worked in several sectors.. I share my experiences and knowledge of the industry through this blog for those looking for help in the industry.. Stay subscribed for more free useful content about shipping, freight, maritime, logistics, supply chain and trade..


  1. Clearly nobody in his right sense will say such disasters should continue to plague our industry. However there are some that cannot be dealt with no matter how proactive the industry regulators become.
    Also in as much as captains cannot be blamed entirely for such incidence , the buck stops on captains because they are to put in place the right people to supervise and ensure that containers are well lashed on the vessel.

  2. The vessel Master in this days is not responsible because he receive instructions to sail and if he don’t sail be positive sure that the office “Commodores” will sacrifice him sending him home in the next or close port nether the less what the Master experience said or he comment about the WX. Bring to your attention and recall the M.V. EL FARO that lost its battle around the family Islands in the Bahamas where 35 sailors lost their lives. Charter time, fuel spent and next vessel schedule count. For figures calculations do not exist reasons and insurance will cover as “human error”. Do I am wrong?. Thanks to clarify …


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