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Old 08-10-2015, 09:19   #31
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Re: Salvage Rights

1) You need to familiarize yourself with Marine Salvage Laws. Review SALCON89:

SALCON 89 (International Convention on Salvage 1989)

This is a legitimate salvage.

2) Have your Agent discuss this with the underwriter. Make them specifically discuss with someone involved with their marine underwriting division. Those folks are familiar with salvage laws.

3) DO NOT report this as stolen. It was not stolen, it was adrift (making way) unmanned. Removing it from a dock, mooring or anchor is theft. This was a legal salvage and your agent is suggesting you file a "False Police Report", which IS illegal.

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Old 08-10-2015, 10:08   #32
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Re: Salvage Rights

I think I read somewhere that international salvage rights are something like 10%of the ship's value

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Old 08-10-2015, 13:05   #33
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Re: Salvage Rights

I used to work in yacht claims for an insurance company. You should be in daily contact with a claims rep at the company. They should be in daily contact with the salvor. The company I worked for had a set of procedures to deal with salvage claims as they were often best settled quickly to avoid a drawn out back and forth.

What was the weather like on the day of the incident? This tends to figure in to salvage awards a lot.

In my experience based on the description given 300/ft is a bit high but you need the whole story. If it's an experienced salvor they likely already have the whole story typed up with pictures ready to send you insurance company.

Really I would let your insurance company lead this keep calling until they do.

As to them keeping it, look at it like your boatyard did some work on it and they are trying to get paid. Many of the same rules apply here (including the possibility of liens)

Salvage is kind of an odd thing when you first look at it but there are reasons it is the way it is. As long as the salvor doesn't go crazy (or your insurance company for that matter) this should be easily solvable,
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Old 27-10-2015, 16:43   #34
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Re: Salvage Rights

First, i'm in awe at the response and support! Thanks to everyone! Someone asked me to summarize the whole situation and let people know the outcome.... here goes my attempt at being concise.

1. Marina calls to inform me I broke off in a big storm.
2. I give them my SeaTow info and they are dispatched.
3. SeaTow and marina personnel are working their way to my boat, but it's been hitched by a salvage company. A gentleman in the mooring field saw my boat break free and radioed it in; salver must've been listening.
4. Salvage company anchors my boat sends me and my insurance agent a bill for... 1/3 value of the boat!
5. Here's where I'm cutting corners, but I spend the next 3 weeks in a three-way e-mail and phone tag game about this between my agent, the salver, and myself and several people from each party... it was a nightmare and I think everyone eventually cursed the other one out... Not how I wish it had gone down.
6. My insurance agent, while somehow taking two weeks to get me a response from the underwriter(I take blame for one of the weeks my boat was away because of a miscommunication while I was sailing on another boat) suggests it isn't a true salvage and I should 'go get my boat back'
7. While I thought he was insane and decided to get some other 'non-professional' advice here, I went to the police.
8. Insurance company gets into the mix and the situation is resolved in a day(no clue on cost yet)
9. Police call me, tell me it wasn't a true salvage and after I tell them the story- without names- the police officer names the salver immediately... sounds sketch to me.
10. My boat is returned to its mooring, with extra, extra, extra lines for redundancy on top of redundancy.

Bottom Line assessment: It wasn't a true salvage, but a service was provided ergo a fee is due. Apparently marine insurance has agents and you work through them as a middle man(read: pain my butt) to get you to the underwriters. and lastly.... TIE YOUR BOAT UP GOOD!

hope that made sense, hope someone learned a lesson the easy way from my example, hope this great community continues to support one another.
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Old 27-10-2015, 17:12   #35
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Re: Salvage Rights

Glad you got your boat back..
Curious if Sea Tow, who were contracted to collect your drifting boat , had any input on your situation?

Asking them what they would have invoiced you for their time, might be a good negotiating exercise?
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Old 28-10-2015, 15:16   #36
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Re: Salvage Rights

Was the salvager's name burt?
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Old 28-10-2015, 16:31   #37
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Re: Salvage Rights

I used to keep my boat at Crandon Park Marina in Miami about 10-15 years ago, and towing companies other than BOAT US in the area had a bad rap, deservedly.

Big story at the marina then was how a Canadian bought a fixer - upper 30 - footer and set out for the boatyard in Fort Lauderdale. The A4 conked out at the Rickenbacker bridge and he got a short tow -- we're talking hundreds of feet - to a marina.

Tower claimed salvage because he was "dangerously" close to the bridge. No one ever found out how it ended up. But it sure was a crappy claim.
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Old 29-10-2015, 06:50   #38
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Re: Salvage Rights

The only legal arrest is if the salvage company has gone through the legal process of an In rem action. This involves costly legal action on their part, a court order and a US marshal" plaster". It has to be prominently displayed on the vessel. Have a look! This is all federal court held in admiralty. Otherwise is not recognized salvage and the retaining of your vessel is quite subjective.

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