The An Yue Jiang, that was added to the Lloyds list on the 20th of April, disappeared off the casualties list of Lloyds MIU this morning. The last entry on the five-ship free portion of the site that remained after the An Yue Jiang was moved or removed, was a vessel that was reported as a casualty on the 19th of April 2008 – 1 day before the An Yue Jiang.
I requested access to Lloyds MIU by using an online form, but was denied on the grounds that Lloyds “only grant trial access to companies with a legitimate business need“. I suppose being a writer makes me less legitimate than most :).
Then, on my WordPress Blog’s Comments, up popped a message from Lloyds themselves. Mark Hankey, their representative, had the following to say:
“We never stated that the vessel sank.
We called it a casualty as it failed to discharge its cargo in the manner it expected. This is normal practice for us as we supply a lot of data to the insurance market and this type of information is of use to them.
We currently have no knowledge of the vessel being refuelled/bunkered or being detained by any navy.”
I then emailed Mr. Hankey, asking him the following:
“Thank you very much for the update you provided to my blog. I would like to publish it, but before I do please can you help me understand:
1. You added it to the list as a casualty because it did not dispose of its cargo as expected. Correct?
2. Could you please let me know why it was taken off the casualty list? Did it dispose of its cargo? Or are there are criteria used?
3. I just want to point out that we never stated that it sank. We merely speculated that the vessel may have run out of fuel as it was not allowed to take in fuel at Durban (it was anchored some 12km outside the port).”
In return, I received the following response from Mr. Hankey (Mr. Hankey’s reponse is in red):
“1. You added it to the list as a casualty because it did not dispose of its cargo as expected. Correct? – correct
2. Could you please let me know why it was taken off the casualty list? Did it dispose of its cargo? Or are there are criteria used? – it’s still there, but due to the timing it has been superseded by more recent casualties on the free part of the database
3. I just want to point out that we never stated that it sank. We merely speculated that the vessel may have run out of fuel as it was not allowed to take in fuel at Durban (it was anchored some 12km outside the port). – cool. Sorry for the misunderstanding. ”
I am very grateful that Lloyds took the time to point out that the ship is indeed still on the casualties list. Now there remains but one issue – one that I find hard to get to grips with:
From the outset, I want to make it clear that I am in no position to personally verify whether the ship is still on the list or not because I could not get access to the database, so I am giving Lloyds the benefit of the doubt in this respect. There is no reason not to.
The only things that still bug me (and I regret not having taken thorough notes this morning) are:
(1) that the An Yue Jiang was superseded before an older casualty (the 19th of April casualty) was superseded, and
(2) that it took some 24 hours (perhaps longer) for Lloyds to list the ship after it failed to discharge is cargo in an expected manner.
These are questions I hope to clarify with Mr. Hankey during subsequent correspondence, provided that he will humour more questions from me.
So, considering Lloyds’ feedback:
We should not necessarily assume that it stopped its slow fuel-saving voyage to Luanda.
We should not necessarily assume that the vessel is headed towards Luanda.
We should not necessarily assume that it has been refuelled.
We should not assume that the ship still carries cargo, and we should not assume that it does.
Finally we should also not assume that the ship has been intercepted by any navy or that it is being led back towards any port – naval or commercial.
But that is not all…
Why is the route suddenly such a secret?
Is the cargo still on board? No response on that one either.
And, why all the attention…even my couple of newbie, basic, itty-bitty blogs are being flooded. And, some of the visitors appear not to be popping by out of curiosity only.
Right now there are simply too many questions and not a single answer to show for it.
PS. Original comment published on my WordPress Blog. You can follow the link from here.
Filed under: Africa, An Yue Juang, Angola, arms, China, Lloyds, Navy, politics, Robert Mugabe, South Africa, weapons, Zimbabwe | Tagged: Africa, Ammunition, An Yue Jiang, Angola, arms, China, Lloyds, politics, South Africa, weapons, Zimbabwe | 2 Comments »