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Marine Salvage

Keeping Our Waterways Clean … Marine salvage is the process of recovering a ship and its cargo after a shipwreck or other maritime casualty … Identify the Scope of Services Required … The scope of services performed by salvage companies are very broad. Salvage may require activities ranging from towing a disabled boat, to refloating a sunken vessel, and freeing a grounded vessel … In addition, Some Salvage Companies are Able to Perform Repairs to a Wide Variety of Ships … Today, Salvage Priorities Range from Protecting the Coastal Environment to Managing the Spillage of Oil, or other contaminants into the water … Before the Invention of Marine Radios, salvage services would be given to a stricken vessel by any ship that happened to be passing by. Nowadays, most marine salvage is carried out by specialist salvage firms with dedicated crew members and equipment. … The Legal Significance of Salvage … This rule states that a successful salvor is entitled to a reward, which is a proportion of the total value of the ship and its cargo. The amount of the award is determined subsequently at a “hearing on the merits” … By a Maritime Court in Accordance with Articles 13 and 14 of the International Salvage Convention of 1989 … The common law concept of salvage was established by the English Admiralty Court, and is defined as “a voluntary successful service provided in order to save maritime property in danger at sea, and … Thus, the Salvor Received a Reward for Their Services … The previous definition has been further refined by The 1989 Convention. Originally, a “successful” salvage was one where at least some of the ship or its cargo was saved. If no persons were saved, the principle of “No Cure, No Pay” meant that the salvor would get nothing … In the 1970s, a number of marine casualties of single-skin-hull tankers led to serious oil spills. Such casualties were unattractive to salvors … So, The Lloyd’s Open Form Solution was Created. This provided a regime for determining the amount of remuneration to be rewarded to salvors for their services in saving property of other salvors who’s acts to try to prevent environmental damage will be paid, even if unsuccessful … The Lloyd’s Initiative has been Proven to be so Advantageous that It was Incorporated Into The 1989 Convention. The initiative states that all vessels have an international duty to give reasonable assistance to other ships in distress in order to save life … But there is no obligation to try to salvidge the vessel. Any offer of salvage assistance may be refused; but if it is accepted a contract automatically arises to give the successful salvor the right to a reward under the 1989 Convention. Typically, the ship’s owner, and the salvor will sign up to an LLoyd’s Open Form Agreement. This ensures that the terms of salvage are clear. Since 2000, it has become standard to append a SCOPIC (“Special Compensation clause’) to the LOF, so as to circumvent the limitations of the “Special Compensation” provisions of the 1989 Convention (pursuant to the case of The Nagasaki Spirit.) They put a placard on the wreckage, reading “Compensation Has Been Granted”.