PROFILE: Captain John L. David
Captain John spent 21 years at sea, with 5 of them in command.
He first went to sea in 1973 with London and Overseas Freighters Ltd. John worked his way up through the Deck officer qualifications and ranks in a broad variety of vessels, trades and cargoes until, aged 33, he was first promoted to Master and given command of a 40,000 tonne multi-flex vessel (geared bulk-cargo and container vessel).
In all, John served on large VLCC crude-oil tankers; smaller, white oil and dirty oil parcel tankers; general cargo vessels; bulk carriers; Great Lakers; and container vessels; as well as a cable recovery vessel and on smaller home - trade coaster vessels.
The cargoes he has carried include; hydrocarbons from heavy-wax crude oils to pristine aviation fuels; bulk cargoes of grain, coal, alumina, concentrates, fertilisers, copra, pulp, timber; bagged cement, rice, sugar, cocoa, and mothballs; drums of IMDG phosphorous and fibreglass resin; steel from the highest quality finished sheets for the bonnets of American Cadillac's to the other end of the steel quality spectrum, the turnings and cuttings making up steel swarf (– which spontaneously ignited in the middle of a storm in the North Atlantic); project cargoes including very large, heavy-lift, strip-mining machinery, yachts, an entire soap factory and railway carriages.
John has visited a large number of ports around the world where he has worked with officers and crews from a variety of nationalities.
He has dealt with many problems encountered with the above cargoes, vessels and trades, including attempts at fraud, piracy and theft; allegations of shortage, contamination, loss and damage; he has had to deal with Charterers on various speed, performance, consumption, hold clean and safe port issues on behalf of his owners. He has also had to deal with death and major injury involving his crew and stevedores.
Whilst in command, John was closely involved in instigating and implementing various management systems, which have since evolved into regulatory maintenance, ISM, and ISPS systems.
John has particular experience in main and auxiliary engine operation and systems of the vessels he served on, as this was one of the areas which caused many of the day-to-day practical problems involved in operating his vessels.
After 5 years as Master, John left his last command, a Panamax bulk carrier, in Japan on a Thursday, and joined a major marine London law firm on the following Monday.
Captain John joined Clyde & Co in September 1994 as a Marine Investigator and Consultant.
In all, John spent 9 years working for Clyde's in their London office as a litigation claims handler specialising in claims that predominantly centred around technical issues arising out of contractual disputes. These disputes included insurance policy issues with Hull and Machinery, Cargo, Ship building and sales, and liability policies; as well as carriage contracts, Bills of Lading, Charter parties, and Carriages of Afreightment.
Central to John's involvement in these cases was his ability to sift though existing evidence, advise on further evidence and in particular, go and obtain crucial evidence. The latter has often involved trips to some of the less salubrious places in the world and interviewing witnesses who would rather not have been tracked down and interviewed.
John also has experience in fire, collision and personal injury matters, where his investigative skills have provided the client with a comprehensive overview of the issues, facts and evidence in often very difficult circumstances.
John left Clyde & Co in 2003 and spent all of 2004 providing the same investigative and advice services to clients working for Global Claims Management Ltd in the City of London.
John is also often asked to provide one-off consultancy advice on particular issues and unique projects, which have included identifying the major areas of liability/risk in a passenger port and in a LPG terminal/plant; and advise on the protection of off-shore Wind farms from a less than diligent ship's Master.
To sum up, John investigates, advises and consults on a very broad range of Hull & Machinery, P + I, Cargo, Port Risks and other marine liability issues, involving vessels from the largest tankers through to the almost equally expensive mega-yacht claims. In the vast majority of John's work, the terms "seaworthiness", "due diligence", "privity", "proximate cause" and "negligence" have been key issues.
John has worked closely with ship owners, Charterers and their P+I insurers; Hull and Machinery underwriters, claims handlers and brokers; Port and Terminal insurers; various other marine liability insurers; and the various cargo interests.
In a Nutshell...
John specialises in: Marine Casualty Investigation; On-site Casualty Management; 24 hour, world-wide Emergency Response; identifying, locating, obtaining and analysing evidence, including VDR and ECDIS data; Marine claims support, advice and settlement assistance; Risk Assessment and focussed maritime consultancy; International presentations, lectures and workshops on industry hotspots of the day, including Hull Policy Problems, ISM, Piracy and its evolution, Witness Evidence, Casualty Management; and The "what-and-why" of ship and cargo accidents and disasters.
Captain John is also a frequent lecturer and presenter on a very varied spectrum of "marine-legal" topics in numerous countries and has been involved and chaired a major seminar on the Mariner and Marine Insurance.
Professional Memberships: Nautical Institute – past Chairman London Branch, IFSMA, Liveryman of City of London