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post #21 of 25 Old 03-03-2007
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A hard grounding is one in which there is already damage to the boat or their is immediate peril to the vessel (on a reef and beginning to pound for example). Many hard grounding can be salvage situations. A soft grounding means there is no damage and you just are stuck and need a tow off a soft bottom.
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post #22 of 25 Old 03-03-2007
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In the case of a true emergency- the possible injury or loss of life- I would immediately contact an emergency response agency i.e. Coast Guard, Baywatch, or harbor patrol, as they have the personal and equipment to deal with medical emergencies. If it was determined that I had the best and quickest response time I would of coarse respond. However bobbing around in ocean 3 miles from land with a broken impeller and an over heating engine, with everyone getting seasick is not considered a life or death emergency.

I realize that this less likely to happen on a sailboat- only a small percentage of my tows are sailboats- but it can.

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A soft grounding is basically just stuck in the mud were there is no damage to the boat and pulling the boat out of the mud is not likely to cause any damage to the boat. A hard grounding, damage to the boat dewatering of the boat or babysitting of the boat, waiting for the tide to come back, is almost always considered a salvage
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post #23 of 25 Old 03-03-2007
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Enhydras - so in the event of a hard grounding, any assistance should be determined beforehand whether it is salvage or otherwise? Or is it atuomatically considered salvage?

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post #24 of 25 Old 03-03-2007
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PBzeer,

Anytime you accept assistance from a commercial tower you should determine weather it is covered service, in the case towing insurance i.e. Tow Boat/US, Vessel Assist, or Seatow (those are the ones I know of there maybe others), or is it a fee for service- salvage. If it turns out to be a fee for service you should have contract with the stating what his rates are, what he is responsible for and any other information that might be pertinent. He should give you an estimate of the cost but this will likely only a ball park estimate because as we all know thing on a boat rarely go as planned and this especially true when dealing with a salvage.

I know that the Boat/US web site had some excellent info the difference between towing and salvage and what to look for in both. If I can find the web address I will post in this forum.

Also be aware that if you do a good sam tow of another vessel it is illegal to except any compensation unless you are licensed by USCG and have a towing endorsement
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post #25 of 25 Old 03-03-2007
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Enhydras-

I believe it is actually illegal to require compensation if you do not have the towing endorsement. I don't believe that there is any law saying that if the guy wants to give you money, that you can not accept it. One is payment for service, the other is a gift—huge difference legally.

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