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post #11 of 29 Old 08-24-2015
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Re: Salvage claim in Louisiana against an abandoned sailboat

There is absolutely no difference in taking a line or giving a line from a salvage claim perspective. They use their lines because of work place safety issues, and not knowing what condition yours are in.

There is however a huge difference in accepting a tow, and being salvaged.
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post #12 of 29 Old 08-24-2015
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Re: Salvage claim in Louisiana against an abandoned sailboat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
There is absolutely no difference in taking a line or giving a line from a salvage claim perspective. They use their lines because of work place safety issues, and not knowing what condition yours are in.

There is however a huge difference in accepting a tow, and being salvaged.
Depending on whether the vessel was in "peril" and whether or not the tow was passed "voluntarily", you might or might not be correct.

This is worth reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_salvage

EDIT: The relevant regulation is the IMO "International Convention on Salvage (1989)". Interestingly, under Article 14(1) the salvor can be entitled to special compensation of up to 200% of the value of the claim if he has carried out salvage operations on a vessel which is a danger to the marine environment - even if it wasn't successful!!

So, next time you see an oil tanker heading for the rocks, make sure you high-tail it over there... even if there's nothing much you can do. You might be rewarded for your trouble.

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Last edited by Classic30; 08-24-2015 at 08:48 PM.
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post #13 of 29 Old 08-24-2015
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Re: Salvage claim in Louisiana against an abandoned sailboat

My understanding is that you should never accept a tow line but give them yours. do not know the situation with Sea Tow or Boat US--do you have some kind of agreement with them ahead of time--I do not know what their MO is.
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post #14 of 29 Old 08-25-2015
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Re: Salvage claim in Louisiana against an abandoned sailboat

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My understanding is that you should never accept a tow line but give them yours. do not know the situation with Sea Tow or Boat US--do you have some kind of agreement with them ahead of time--I do not know what their MO is.
Again who passes the line has zero effect on anything.

If you accept a tow (regardless of who's line it is) make sure it is a tow. That is all. Otherwise if your vessel is disabled it could create a salvage claim.
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post #15 of 29 Old 08-25-2015
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Re: Salvage claim in Louisiana against an abandoned sailboat

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Again who passes the line has zero effect on anything.

If you accept a tow (regardless of who's line it is) make sure it is a tow. That is all. Otherwise if your vessel is disabled it could create a salvage claim.
Again, it depends on the situation. From a web article on this topic:
Quote:
"What is clear is that towing a vessel which is in peril to a place of safety is a prototypical act of salvage in circumstances such as where a power vessel has run out of fuel, or is disabled, or is adrift at sea. In these circumstances it will still be regarded as salvage even if the only assistance required is a tow to a safe mooring. This is to be contrasted with a tow which is provided by another vessel as a mere means of saving time or for considerations of convenience. In such circumstances, there is no immediate or apprehended peril, and therefore no right to reward for salvage. The towing vessel may be entitled to payment for towage based on a fair hourly rate or distance travelled but will not be entitled to the more generous sum awarded for a salvage operation."
IMHO, it is always better to give them your tow line because there is then (a) no doubt as to who you're "contracting" with for towing services and (b) you can point out to the person who takes the line (and anyone else who asks later) the conditions of the tow, including that you're not in 'immediate peril' ...even if it might look like you are, or will be when the tide comes in.

Assuming the person towing you isn't a towing company you've contracted with beforehand (like BoatUS), if you're at all concerned it's also a good idea to pass them a carton of beer (or rum ..or $$$ if you're so inclined) after the tow is completed to both thank them for their help.. and as 'payment for services rendered' and thus prevent a claim afterwards.

If all you do is give them a friendly wave after they've hauled your a$$ off a sand-bank and towed you back to your anchorage miles away using their precious fuel, it's only fair to expect a letter in the mail from their lawyers..

Interestingly, under the regs, it seems the Navy, Water Police, Coast Guard or similar aren't entitled to claim for salvage - since marine rescue is considered part of their "duty".

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Last edited by Classic30; 08-25-2015 at 01:42 AM.
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post #16 of 29 Old 08-25-2015
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Re: Salvage claim in Louisiana against an abandoned sailboat

does anyone know what the mechanical failure was?
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Re: Salvage claim in Louisiana against an abandoned sailboat

50 K to tow the boat??
Really? it sounds like a real deal... maybe a fella should buy a tow boat....
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post #18 of 29 Old 08-25-2015
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Re: Salvage claim in Louisiana against an abandoned sailboat

The couple I bought my Cal 33 from purchased a new Hanse 40 to replace her. First summer with the new boat they were on a mooring in Watch Hill, RI when a tropical storm came through and the boat ended up on the rocks. The service that pulled her off claimed salvage. Their insurance company handled the mess but it took almost a year.
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post #19 of 29 Old 08-25-2015
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Re: Salvage claim in Louisiana against an abandoned sailboat

What's sad is that truly abandoned boats can be an expensive nuisance, and nobody claims those.

Abandoned boats clutter possible Hyde County industrial site :: WRAL.com

But if you have engine trouble on a calm day, lots of jokers might be quick to claim your vessel.
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post #20 of 29 Old 08-25-2015
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Re: Salvage claim in Louisiana against an abandoned sailboat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Classic30 View Post
Again, it depends on the situation. From a web article on this topic:

IMHO, it is always better to give them your tow line because there is then (a) no doubt as to who you're "contracting" with for towing services and (b) you can point out to the person who takes the line (and anyone else who asks later) the conditions of the tow, including that you're not in 'immediate peril' ...even if it might look like you are, or will be when the tide comes in.

Assuming the person towing you isn't a towing company you've contracted with beforehand (like BoatUS), if you're at all concerned it's also a good idea to pass them a carton of beer (or rum ..or $$$ if you're so inclined) after the tow is completed to both thank them for their help.. and as 'payment for services rendered' and thus prevent a claim afterwards.

If all you do is give them a friendly wave after they've hauled your a$$ off a sand-bank and towed you back to your anchorage miles away using their precious fuel, it's only fair to expect a letter in the mail from their lawyers..

Interestingly, under the regs, it seems the Navy, Water Police, Coast Guard or similar aren't entitled to claim for salvage - since marine rescue is considered part of their "duty".
And again i will point out that NONE OF THAT HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH WHAT ROPE IS USED. Ensuring the claim will be treated as a tow and not a salvage claim is an issue of contract law, there is nothing there that matters if its your line or not.

The critical part is to settle it as a tow by saying something like "So this is a tow not salvage correct?" If possible get it in writing with payment pre-arranged.



And yes, in order to claim a salvage there can not be a "preexisting duty to provide assistance" which is why maritime law enforcement don't get to make the claims. It is only for commercial operators and private individuals. However note that Sea-Tow and the like if you have a contract with them can still declare that a particular rescue is not covered under the contract, and make a salvage claim in some circumstances. These circumstances are spelled out in detail in the contract. But typically the dividing line is when they take more than a single boat, a single operator and a single line. OR involve a degree of personal risk beyond providing a simple tow.

This is actually not that complicated an area of law. By definition anything done to save a vessel adrift gives rise to a salvage claim. Assuming the following:

- A maritime peril
- Voluntary (no pre-existing contractual relationship to provide the services)
- Success (in part or in whole)
- The object must be a recognized subject of salvage (i.e., have value)
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