Maritime rescue is an essential part of marine insurance, and it's important for boat owners to understand what it is and how it works. Salvage in marine insurance refers to the process of recovering a ship and its cargo after a shipwreck or other maritime accident. This could involve towing, refloating a boat, or repairing a boat. It can also include protecting the coastal environment from oil spills or other pollutants.
In this article, we'll explore the history of maritime rescue law, the incentives behind it, and how it applies to recreational boaters.
The History of Maritime Rescue LawMaritime rescue law has been around since the Middle Ages. The fundamental incentive behind the maritime rescue law has been to provide a reward to rescuers who voluntarily come to the aid of ships in danger in order to save people and property from destruction. Maritime rescue laws were created when most ships at sea were engaged in trade. Before the shipowner was willing to deviate from his schedule and incur additional expenses caused by an extra trip to save people and ships in danger, an incentive was needed to make the effort worthwhile.
Maritime law and international treaties have offered that incentive in the form of a reward to the successful savior. Examples of salvage in maritime legislation include unattended floating log rafts, wrecked planes or boats, fishing nets, buoys, rafts, skiffs, barges, tugboats, boats, or any other maritime property.
Salvage CostsSalvage costs are amounts paid to protect the vessel against additional losses. This could be as simple as adding a barrier to a broken window or as complicated as having a rescue company protect the boat if it is ashore. Nowadays, most lifesaving is carried out by specialized rescue companies with dedicated staff and equipment.
What Boaters Should Know About Maritime RescueBefore the invention of the radio, any ship that passed by there provided rescue services to an affected vessel.
Today, protecting the coastal environment from oil spills or other pollutants is a high priority. If time permits, the boat owner should check with their insurance company before allowing the rescue to take place. If your vessel is in danger (and if you have time), it's best to ask the responsible maritime contractor how much they will charge for their services before you start, get their agreement in writing, and contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Other companies will insure your boat against physical damage, but do not cover the cost of rescue.In circumstances where the ship owner has time to contract with the maritime contractor of his choice instead of accepting the services offered by a savior, and when a short delay does not exacerbate the danger to his property too much, it is much more advantageous for the boat owner to hire a maritime contractor who is willing to provide the services in exchange for a conventional bill.
Since recreational boaters are subject to the same rescue laws as large ocean ships, it's important for them to be as savvy as a maritime captain when it comes to choosing solutions when their vessel is exposed to a marine hazard.