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Old 29-03-2012, 17:01   #1
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Salvage Rights

Today driving the dinghy out to enjoy the boat we spot a sailor in distress. As we approached we noticed towboat us leaving and the guy drinking a drink. Everything seemed to be under control so we continued to our boat.

The poor guy missed hooking a ball then attempted a maneuver hence grounding the vessel.

Shortly thereafter, enjoying a cold beverage, tow boat came back as well as a marina vessel. The poor grounded chap decided he did not feel safe and decided to leave his vessel against the advice from the marina and tow boat.

The poor chap was now stranded on a sand bar. Tow boat nor the marina boat could approach to rescue him from the sandbar.

However I was asked to assist which I gladly did. Motoring over to the poor chap risking live as limb in shark infested waters putting my life and that of my dinghy in great peril I proceeded to rescue him. He asked if I was here to rescue him? I replied yes and proceeded to Load him into the dinghy and then motor out to tow boat which took him off my hands.

Now just for the sake of argument is the vessel considered abandoned. Since I assisted in the rescue do I have salvage rights?

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Old 29-03-2012, 17:39   #2
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Re: Salvage rights

HAHAH!!! you must be dreaming!
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Old 29-03-2012, 17:41   #3
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Quote:
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HAHAH!!! you must be dreaming!
Not dreaming I posted a picture. Not that I want the guys 20 foot boat or anything was just curious how the laws would apply.
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Old 29-03-2012, 17:47   #4
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Re: Salvage rights

When the tide rolls in the boat will float & off the man goes! You getting salvage rights would be like if your car had a flat tire and you were hitch hiking home- I picked you up and then take your car in trade- forget it!!
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Old 29-03-2012, 17:50   #5
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Re: Salvage rights

If towboat was called it's already under contract.
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Old 29-03-2012, 17:50   #6
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Re: Salvage rights

The boat is not in peril.
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Old 29-03-2012, 17:51   #7
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I know I would never take advantage of another's misfortune for one day I may be there myself. I'm glad I was able to assist, just thought this would be an interesting topic to discuss and kill some time.

As a matter of fact Im keeping an eye on the boat and if indeed it does refloat itself and start to drag anchor it will probably be I that gets it properly attached to a ball considering high tide isn't until 2 am
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Old 29-03-2012, 18:49   #8
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Re: Salvage rights

There are basically NO salvage rights in the US... the owner still owns it, period
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Old 29-03-2012, 18:52   #9
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Re: Salvage rights

Quote:
Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
There are basically NO salvage rights in the US... the owner still owns it, period
I think you could be mistaken about salvage rights in the USA, but your right about this case!
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Old 29-03-2012, 18:59   #10
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Re: Salvage rights

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I think you could be mistaken about salvage rights in the USA, but your right about this case!
OK...I might be.... been wrong before.... BUT show me ONE instance of "uncontracted" salvage in the last 50 years, and I'll agree. In Florida (and many other states) they now go one step further; the LAST REGISTERED owner is forever responsible for a vessel until it's sale or destruction is documented to the State
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Old 29-03-2012, 19:10   #11
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Re: Salvage rights

Quote:
Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
OK...I might be.... been wrong before.... BUT show me ONE instance of "uncontracted" salvage in the last 50 years, and I'll agree. In Florida (and many other states) they now go one step further; the LAST REGISTERED owner is forever responsible for a vessel until it's sale or destruction is documented to the State
I donít dispute this, but I was responding to this-There are basically NO salvage rights in the US... the owner still owns it, period--!
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Old 29-03-2012, 20:26   #12
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Interesting, ok lets take another scenario.... I'm on a passage and come across an abondoned vessel floating in international waters. No owner in sight, what do I do? What would you do? Has anyone ever had this occurrence? What's the law in this case.
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Old 29-03-2012, 20:43   #13
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In int'l waters if u tow the vessel in u can lay a salvage claim to it to at least get paid for recovering it which can be quite substantial if not lay claim to it as its truly abandoned. Depends on country and lots of criteria.. Inland waters if u r a tower or salvor owner sometimes chooses to give u the vessel salvaged In lieu of payment. If u fail to pay for salvage or towing if its agreed upon inland waters the salvo tower can lay a lien against it and possibly get a title in some cases just like a mechanics lien on an auto u refused to pay to have repaired.
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Old 29-03-2012, 21:18   #14
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Talking Re: Salvage rights

You saved the wrong thing. Salvage refers to saving to the boat and its cargo. Rescuing the captain get's you a thanks and maybe a beer. Salvage get's you a reward determined by Admiralty Court rulings that are sometimes centuries old.

If you had taken the captain ashore and then returned and tied your dinghy to the boat and waited for high tide, you might indeed have been able to negotiate a salvage reward from the boat's insurance company -- 15%-30% of the boat's value is not out of the question. You would have claimed that there was a chance the weather would deteriorate or that it would have struck a rock upon re-floating, or a wake might have flooded her while on her side.

Both TowBoatUS and SeaTow are most definitely in the salvage business and carry salvage contracts ready for signing (although a signed contract is not required). One tow boat mate once told me that "towing pays the bills but salvage makes the profit". The TowBoatUS salvage page specifically says that "stranding" is treated as salvage rather than a free tow -

http://www.boatus.com/towing/salvage-p7.asp


In this case, the tow boat's draft prevented them from rescuing the boat, you could argue that you deserved the salvage award.

Here's a fairly long but interesting piece by a lawyer

Salvage Claims Under Admiralty Law | Award for Salvaging a Ship | Lawfirms.com

And here's a picture of a tanker salvage. Seems worth a good fee even if it only is towing

: Ship Photos

Carl
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Old 30-03-2012, 01:19   #15
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Re: Salvage rights

Much better to just collect some good karma from kind actions Jeff.
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