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Old 26-11-2012, 05:46   #91
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Re: Merged- Windigo Abandoned. Please Help

I expect the Moderators will jump in soon to remind some of the newer poster to ‘Play Nice’. You can still make your point while being respectful …. Thanks!
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Old 26-11-2012, 05:54   #92
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Re: Look Out for Windigo

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
While I'm sure there are cruisers who might take this boat under tow or even put a crew on it to try and sail it into an anchorage, doesn't this sort of thing fall under the laws of salvage?

If one cruiser salvages another cruiser's abandoned boat, do the usual salvage practices apply?

I do not imply greed or taking advantage of another's loss here, but if their boat is damaged, possibly half-full of water and hundreds of miles from a well-serviced harbour, "finding it" would be a non-trivial service worthy of compensation.

Having said that, if we found and could identify an abandoned yacht, I would attempt to reach the owners via the closest authorities, but unless I found it bobbing off an easily entered harbour in fine weather, my instinct would be to open the seacocks as a dead 40 footer is a serious hazard to navigation.

Am I wrong here?
Yes, I don't agree with this approach.

Salvage does not mean "finders, keepers", as many believe. It means that anyone who saves a vessel in danger, or abandoned, has the right to fair compensation for their actions, considering the trouble they went to and the risks they took.

Attitudes vary among different sailors, and in different countries probably, but the sailors I know would not be thinking about salvage if they found a boat drifting like Windigo, the result of another sailor's tragedy. If they could manage it without undue risk to themselves or their own boat, they would take it under tow or put a crew on and try to save it. At the very least, they would report an exact position so that the owners could take some other measures.

And they wouldn't expect much more than thanks and beers, unless they incurred concrete expenses, in which case they might be grateful to be reimbursed.

That's certainly what I would do. I wouldn't dream of trying to profit from another sailor's tragedy, and I don't think I know any other sailor who would, either.
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Old 26-11-2012, 05:59   #93
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Re: Merged- Windigo Abandoned. Please Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrid View Post
Both had sustained head injuries and one a back injury. How serious or trivial those turned out to be, I don't know, and since neither were physicians, I suspect they did not know either. With head injuries, though, it is best to err on the side of caution. It does not take much to make a minor head injury appear much worse than it is, but by the same token, what appears relatively minor can hide a life threatening condition.
Words of true wisdom (par for the course, coming from Astrid).

How can anyone blame a couple with head injuries (!!) for abandoning ship to get medical treatment?? Even if the vessel were in perfect condition? A head injury is nothing to screw around with. The crew of Windigo did exactly the right thing
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Old 26-11-2012, 06:17   #94
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Re: Look Out for Windigo

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And they wouldn't expect much more than thanks and beers, unless they incurred concrete expenses, in which case they might be grateful to be reimbursed.

.
I'm not sure many people understand where this boat was abandoned. Plot the L&L and then note its cyclone season. Any cruiser in those waters is likely to be very toey about their weather windows.
Most cruisers are two up, and the distance far to far for a tow, so it's 2 single handed boats with probably inexperienced single handers trying to stay together in two different boat, one learning new systems and perhaps making repairs.

Then at the end they are offered $100,000 as their legal entitlement, or give the boat back,out of the goodness of their hearts.

I have never heard that happen before, and I would be pleased for others to give me some references to ones that have.

Afaik Admiralty court gives 90% of the value of the vessel if there was little or no likelihood of salvage being sucessful. And this surely must be one of those cases. Just finding it is unlikely.... One reason is, if you check your pilot charts, it's in an area of two converse currents... One heading west to Australia a thousand miles away, and the other towards South America 5,000 miles away.

If anyone salvages this boat I'll buy them a beer!

It's nice to think the previous owners will get the boat back but on the balance of probabilities it is not going to happen.


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Old 26-11-2012, 09:55   #95
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Re: Look Out for Windigo

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Yes, I don't agree with this approach.

Salvage does not mean "finders, keepers", as many believe. It means that anyone who saves a vessel in danger, or abandoned, has the right to fair compensation for their actions, considering the trouble they went to and the risks they took.

Attitudes vary among different sailors, and in different countries probably, but the sailors I know would not be thinking about salvage if they found a boat drifting like Windigo, the result of another sailor's tragedy. If they could manage it without undue risk to themselves or their own boat, they would take it under tow or put a crew on and try to save it. At the very least, they would report an exact position so that the owners could take some other measures.

And they wouldn't expect much more than thanks and beers, unless they incurred concrete expenses, in which case they might be grateful to be reimbursed.

That's certainly what I would do. I wouldn't dream of trying to profit from another sailor's tragedy, and I don't think I know any other sailor who would, either.
Fair enough, and I concur, but salvage law exists not to encourage altruism, but to encourage the recovery of boats on behalf of the crew, who cannot.

I don't know anyone who would fail to report a vessel adrift. It's an obvious SECURITE call, for one thing.

But there are compelling reasons not to take it further without the same logic that pertains to a "LOST DOG: REWARD" poster in any given neighbourhood.

"Profiting from tragedy" is not the same as "compensation for effort above and beyond". I think stepping aboard an abandoned yacht is non-trivial in terms of physical danger (the continued floating of the boat being in some doubt) and in terms of what you might find (a murder scene, bales of contraband, a sailor dead of natural causes).

It's chock full of variables, this business.
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Old 26-11-2012, 12:08   #96
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Re: Merged- Windigo Abandoned. Please Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Words of true wisdom (par for the course, coming from Astrid).

How can anyone blame a couple with head injuries (!!) for abandoning ship to get medical treatment?? Even if the vessel were in perfect condition? A head injury is nothing to screw around with. The crew of Windigo did exactly the right thing
Did they have the head injuries when they either a/ failed to get a forecast before sailing or b/ knowingly sailed into a storm?
Did they have head injuries when they set off on a 1000+nm bluewater passage without drogue or chute?
Did they have head injuries when they failed to employ heavy weather preparation and tactics as conditions deteriorated?
These sort of incidents are primarily responsible for countries increasing legislation to the point where we have the NZ Cat 1 draconian restrictions. I for one do not thank the actions of fools that impact on my freedom and finances.
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Old 26-11-2012, 12:14   #97
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Re: Merged- Windigo Abandoned. Please Help

You're looking at 50% value minimum to whomever were to bring into port unless perhaps is found off the buoy in Bundaberg or something.

A few years back an English bloke on his Bavaria ventured out of Nuka Alofa and towed a Tayana 48 about 30 miles in mild gale conditions. the Tonga navy had refused to assist. the US owner of the Tayana was quite grateful and offered to buy the chappie dinner and give him a few grand for the tow. the Bavaria owner declined that offer and departed shortly for New Zealand.

The US owner was notified by a British Lawyer a few days later the Bavaria owner was seeking something around $100,000 for the days work.

Ironically the Bavaria was one of the boats not at all equipped for cruising. After fouling there bower anchor in French Polynesia a few months earlier, that had to borrow another anchor and cable from another boat for several weeks until reaching Tahiti. they only had one other lunch hook type anchor.

I'm sure they gave the anchor loaner a few beers though.
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Old 26-11-2012, 12:18   #98
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Re: Merged- Windigo Abandoned. Please Help

So what anchor is Mr Bavaria using now? Please don't say a Tayana 48.....
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Old 26-11-2012, 12:23   #99
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Re: Merged- Windigo Abandoned. Please Help

I'm honestly not sure what happened. the Tayana was shipped NZ somehow from Tonga and refitted. I was real surprised about that as there is no commercial shipping of that type available out of tonga. It was refitted in NZ by the next June and I saw the boat and owner in Suva. I couldn't bear to ask him how if all worked out money wise.

just another reason boat insurance is so much!
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Old 26-11-2012, 12:34   #100
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Re: Merged- Windigo Abandoned. Please Help

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The US owner was notified by a British Lawyer a few days later the Bavaria owner was seeking something around $100,000 for the days work.
I dunno what he would have got - but IMO no harm in starting high .

As I said, already - if an insurance company was involved I would not be shy about putting a claim in on an abandoned boat. If no insurance I would likely settle on a few grand, unless the owner was an ******* .


Back on topic(?), this tale just goes to demonstrate that sometimes your best is just not good enough, and sometimes nowhere near - a hard lesson in life to learn (me included!).
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Old 26-11-2012, 12:40   #101
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Re: Merged- Windigo Abandoned. Please Help

the Tayana was not abandoned. the owner assumed the other cruiser was helping him out not offering salvage. If you accept a line in "dire" conditions you are agreeing to salvage. If the boat is abandoned it is of course salvage unless you were hired by the owner to retrieve the boat for a set price.
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Old 26-11-2012, 12:50   #102
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Re: Merged- Windigo Abandoned. Please Help

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Originally Posted by Boatguy30 View Post
the Tayana was not abandoned. the owner assumed the other cruiser was helping him out not offering salvage. If you accept a line in "dire" conditions you are agreeing to salvage. If the boat is abandoned it is of course salvage unless you were hired by the owner to retrieve the boat for a set price.
Ooops. I missed the bit about him still being onboard .

In that case I would not have made a claim - unless later over a few beers (I wouldn't have refused a night on the piss ) we agreed to involve the insurance company, perhaps on a 50 / 50 basis .
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Old 26-11-2012, 13:09   #103
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Re: Merged- Windigo Abandoned. Please Help

Someone posted a link to the vids of SV Paragon, the Westsail 42 that towed a 52 steel vessel (Cha Cha) 150 nm toward Bermuda. I was astounded that the Captain of Cha Cha refused to offer any compensation to Paragon which his boat actually damaged and to another boat that came to assist after the damage to Paragon. The Captain of the 2nd vessel, Titan 14, specifically asked before assisting if Cha Cha would pay for chafed lines or other damage that might be caused. Cha Cha said he had no money - the boat may have not been his either, that was unclear to me. The choice then for any vessel assisting Cha Cha was to leave them adrift knowing they had no sails, motor, or steering or to assist at the rescue vessels expense. What a supremely crap thing to do to your fellow sailors, especially folks who were willing to save your life and your boat. The freighters of course offered only to take the crew aboard and leave Cha Cha adrift. I expect few sailors would just leave Cha Cha and her crew but I wonder then, if either Paragon or Titan 14 could have filed against the value of Cha Cha for damages regardless of the Captain saying he had no money, since he accepted the tow? The "I have no money to buy you a new line if yours get chafed or other damages are incurred while you help save me and my boat" response just seems unbelievable to me...

Apologies for the thread drift but I thought the situation sort of relevant to the larger discussion here...
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Old 26-11-2012, 13:12   #104
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Re: Merged- Windigo Abandoned. Please Help

I guess I must be the mercenary one of the lot. If I involve my vessel and crew in an act of salvage then fair compensation is expected. I do carry salvage ageements aboard for the owner to sign. If I have to take a vessel under tow then I am burning fuel @ $5.00 USD per gallon, putting wear and tear on my equipment, and putting my crew at risk for which I am liable if someone gets injured. I expect that my insurer would void any claim that I might make if damaged or injured while taking another vessel in tow. Having said that, I would not hesitate to help a fellow mariner in distress whether compensation was forthcoming or not, if someone needed a tow into a nearby harbor or a jump, or a fiver of fuel to get them in, I wouldn't charge for the except, I would want the fuel replaced. It really depends on the circumstances.
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Old 26-11-2012, 14:11   #105
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Re: Merged- Windigo Abandoned. Please Help

Frankly I would not subject my boat to the rigors of towing another vessel in the open sea. Especially if any distance is involved. It's just not worth it. There is a large possibility that you will end up damaging your own boat and engine. There are commercial firms that will do this. And, as for salvage, I think most still use the standard Lloyds form. (LOP) . No cure no pay. But I might be wrong, it's been a long time.

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