On 27 July 2003, the tanker “TASMAN SPIRIT” grounded near the approaches to the port of Karachi giving rise to a major pollution incident. During the salvage operation that followed, Tsavliris chartered in the “SEA ANGEL” for a period of “up to 20 days” to assist in the transhipment of oil off the casualty. Unfortunately, once the transhipment operation had been completed, the Karachi Port Trust refused to permit the “SEA ANGEL” (and others) to leave port. The “SEA ANGEL” was detained at Karachi until 26 December 2003 and was only finally redelivered by Tsavliris on 1 January 2004.
A dispute arose between Tsavliris and the owners of the “SEA ANGEL” as to unpaid hire, and the critical question became: “had the time charter been frustrated?” Both the Commercial Court and the Court of Appeal held that it had not – a decision of importance in the law of frustration as whole, and in particular to those operating in the salvage arena.
• What the Courts decided in the “SEA ANGEL” case
• The case’s importance to the doctrine of frustration
• Food for thought – some loose ends?
• The “SEA ANGEL” and the implications for insurers in commercial disputes
• The impact of the case on detention in the salvage industry