MSC Vessel Hit with Arrest Warrant After Speeding Incident

The Cooper River Bridge at sunset
Updated Published

On June 10th, the US Court issued an arrest warrant for the container ship the MSC Michigan VII following a lawsuit by Carver Maritime, a terminal operator, claiming the vessel damaged a pier at Cooper River, Charleston after losing control.

The incident occurred on June 5th when the MSC Michigan VII experienced issues with its propulsion control system, causing it to exceed the 15-knot speed limit. This event led to the temporary closure of vehicle traffic on the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, which was reopened after the vessel passed safely under the bridge and continued to open sea.

On June 9th, Carver Maritime, based in North Charleston, filed a lawsuit against MSC Shipmanagement and the owner of MSC Michigan VII. The company alleged that the vessel's high-speed departure on June 5th resulted in damage to their pier and other property.

Carver Maritime informed the court that MSC Michigan VII, while navigating the Cooper River, exceeded the region's safe speed limit of 15 knots. At the time, the cargo vessel Norway Pearl was docked at Pier J. As the MSC Michigan VII sped through, it created a significant wave in the river, causing a sharp drop in the water level at Pier J. This increase in tension on Norway Pearl’s mooring ropes subsequently led to the vessel slamming into and damaging the pier as the water level normalized.

As a result of this incident, Carver requested the court to detain the MSC Michigan VII to prevent its departure from Charleston. They also sought the court's permission to auction the vessel to cover the repair costs for the pier, dredging, and other related expenses. Carver has not yet provided an estimated repair cost.

The court granted Carver's request, issuing a warrant to detain the MSC Michigan VII in Charleston, where it remains docked following the incident. The vessel was initially scheduled to depart Charleston on June 10th.