17 FEB 2017: In August 2010 the Clipper Adventurer crashed into an uncharted rock shelf in the Coronation Gulf near Kugluktuk, Nunavut. The Canadian coast guard rescued 128-grounded passengers and 69 crewmembers. Through the federal government, the coast guard issued a lawsuit, seeking half a million dollars in damages from the cruise liner and a Federal Court judge has now ruled in their favour.
The lawsuit said the damages were to prevent, repair or minimize pollution from the ship's grounding. 13 tanks aboard containing fuel, freshwater and sludge were breached with the impact.
It took four tugs to remove the ship from the shoal whereupon it was taken to Poland for repairs.
The (Bahamas-based) owner of the MV Clipper Adventurer is Adventure Owner Ltd. At the time, they claimed that if the Canadian government had provided more information about the rock shelf, which was known to be a hazard, the collision could have been averted. They sought $13.5 million to cover repair and salvage and loss of business in addition to other costs.
Justice Sean Harrington dismissed that claim, stating, “The shortcoming lies with the ship. The Coast Guard station MCTS [Marine Communications and Traffic Services] was under no duty to take the initiative to warn the Clipper Adventurer of the presence of the shoal,” Harrington said in his judgment. “It did not know which route would be taken. It may have been different if the Clipper Adventurer had asked for but was given misinformation.”
He said the Coast Guard properly warned the Clipper Adventurer's crew of the rock shelf through a notice to shipping, which was not on board the ship.
"Had Officer Mora … taken serious note of the publications with which he was required to be familiar, he would have known perfectly well that there were written NOTSHIPs [notices to shipping], and that if he could not get them by visiting the Canadian Coast Guard website, all he had to do was call MCTS Iqaluit," the decision reads.
"As it was, this nonchalant attitude put the lives of close to 200 souls at risk."
Harrington awarded $445,361, plus interest, and said if the owners of the Clipper Adventurer fail to pay the damages, the ship must be sold to cover them.