During a recent crowded July 4'th week at Block Island, we had relocated our 27 ft. Ericson
to the Northeast edge of the anchorage. The anchor
held for 5 hours until we got pumped out and went ashore. Taking the launch back, we were astonished to find our vessel GONE! The launch driver suggested looking at the emergency
moorings, and there she was. The towboat service
driver gave me a photo
of our boat tied up to the stern of a nearby vessel since our boat had dragged anchor
. There was a huge cable around our wheel
, and the cost to ransom our boat.....$675! From the metadata associated with the photo
and the time on the paper on our boat, it was clear the towboat driver spent a total of 25 minutes to "earn" his money
I had used a very short scope
, and apparently the rising tide, loss of weight from the holding tank
being emptied and 2 people leaving pulled the anchor loose. The short scope
was necessary due to the crowded anchorage, but clearly it was too short.
HOWEVER, I believe that the laws of salvage
, under which apparently the company can charge insane fees
, would apply to the original salvager only
. The boat that grabbed my dragging-anchor vessel is the salvager, and after it was secured by him to his stern my boat was no longer in peril. The appearance of the tow boat driver and his subsequent charge to me of $675 is simply an outrageous towing charge, has no relevance to the laws of salvage
, and cannot be legitimately levied (I believe).
Anyone feel that my argument has validity, or am I wasting my time and energy fighting this? Thanks in advance!