It later was noted that the Stolt Dagali was carrying
a cargo of non-flamable vegetable oils in the section of the ship that was struck. Forward tanks contained propylene tetramer,
methanol and heptane, all volatile an flammable liquids. Had the Shalom hit that part of the ship, both vessels might have
been consumed by fire and the death toll on the liner would have been high.
During an international inquiry, the Shalom's
second mate testified that the ship's radar scope was cluttered with noise prior to the crash and that he was making adjustments,
attempting to get a better picture. He said he did not spot the tanker's radar blip until the two ships were within two miles
of one another.
It also was learned that the Shalom's lookout
was given permission to take a coffee break just before the crash. He was returning to the bridge just as the collision was
The collision triggered what may have been the
most complicated international court case ever heard. The case involved both shipping companies, from other lands, in litigation
against each other over a collision that occurred in international waters. Courts in Sweden and the United States were involved.
There was big money at stake and it drove the cases to continue for years.
The madness began after the Stolt agali's owners,
A/S Ocean, had authorities in Goteborg, Sweden, detain a Zim Line freighter, the Nahariyal, when it docked. The ship was held
for ransom until the Zim Line paid $1.5 million in bail.
A/S Ocean also filed suit against the Zim Line
in Sweden. Lawyers for the Swedish line claimed that the Zim Line's offer to compensate families for their losses constituted
an admission of guilt.
In January, 1965, the Zim Line filed a damage
suit against A/S Ocean for $2.3 million in U.S. District Court after an Israeli inquiry absolved the Shalom of all blame and
found her captain and crew innocent of negligence. The damage sought $1.9 million for repair of the liner and loss of profits
while in dry dock, and $450,000 to meet the claims of families of the crew members killed in the crash.
Two additional law suits were filed in U.S. District
Court. One was a personal injury suit by a passenger on the Shalom and the second was a case filed by the Pacific Vegetable
Oil Corporation and the Bunge Corporation because of cargo losses. Later the Cargill Company, Klockner and Company and Unifood
Company joined in what became a class action suit.These cases were filed against the Zim Line.
Federal Judge David Edelstein said of the litigation:
"Many of the problems in this case arise because there are two main suits in two jurisdictions between the same parties to
the same collision." Edelstein explained that there was "a substantial difference in American admiralty law and the Brussels
Collision Convention which is applied in Sweden."
In the end, the Zim Line paid 90 percent of the
claims. A/S Ocean paid the rest for contributory negligence.
The Shalom was repaired.
The surviving crew members on the floating bow
section of the tanker were picked up by a Coast Guard cutter the next day and a tug brought the bloating section to the Hoboken
Yard of Bethlehem Steel. There it was sealed up and made ready for a trip back to the Baltic where it was grafted onto the
aft part of another tanker, the Norwegian T. Gogstad, which lost its bow in a stranding. Thus a new tanker emerged. She was
the Stolt Lady, which served for years afterward.
The aft section of the Stolt Dagali sank in just
130 feet of water, and is a popular visiting spot for sport divers off the New Jersey coast.