In London Arbitration 27/07 – 733 LMLN 3 a vessel was chartered on the NYPE form to carry a cargo of milling wheat. The charterers contended that the ship was off-hire for various periods due to alleged cargo damage, a refusal by the Master to allow samples to be taken by surveyors and a period when the Master was ill and required treatment ashore.

As regards the condition of the cargo, it was found to be most likely that the cargo was loaded in a damaged condition and charterers’ argument that the Master should have commented on the number of black grains, and stopped loading, failed, as in the absence of any comment in the mate’s receipt about the condition of the cargo, but with a simple description of milling wheat, the Master was entitled to assume that the charterers were loading what they had intended to load. Accordingly all delays which arose as a result of problems with the cargo were not periods of off-hire. As regards the period when it was alleged that the Master refused to allow samples to be taken, in fact the delay arose because the health authority had to be present during discharge, but it was not working because of a holiday period. The vessel was therefore not off-hire. As regards the suggestion that the vessel was off-hire when the Master was sick and ashore, the facts showed that whilst the Master was ashore the Chief Officer completed the formalities, and that in fact no time was lost.