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Old 12 January 2009, 12:05   #1
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The Rules of Salvage

I came across this link in the YBW forum and thought it might be of interest here too.

http://www.nash.co.uk/news_articles_lawofsalvate.htm

From the few posts on the subject very few people would bother with recompense, other than a nice bottle of happy juice, with one or two saying that they would like any fuel used paid for. What's the consensus on here about giving a tow etc?

David
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Old 12 January 2009, 12:09   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siochair View Post
I came across this link in the YBW forum and thought it might be of interest here too.

http://www.nash.co.uk/news_articles_lawofsalvate.htm

From the few posts on the subject very few people would bother with recompense, other than a nice bottle of happy juice, with one or two saying that they would like any fuel used paid for. What's the consensus on here about giving a tow etc?

David
Does this really happen in the real world in the world of a small leisure boat ? Options are risk it , join seastart or call the RNLI ?

I feel that I would try & do assist/tow anyone I could ( as long as I dont endanger myself/ my boat or crew) for nothing . This is on the basis that one day it could be me & I'd like to to think someone would do the same for me.

Last summer they did help me & when I see them again a large number of tins of beer will be deposited in their boat !

I have had notes thrust into my hand before when towing someone in , but refused them its not about money for me - just trying to help people out who are clearly having a less than good day .
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Old 12 January 2009, 12:15   #3
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Does this really happen in the real world in the world of a small leisure boat ? Options are risk it , join seastart or call the RNLI ?

I feel that I would try & do assist/tow anyone I could ( as long as I dont endanger myself/ my boat or crew) for nothing . This is on the basis that one day it could be me & I'd like to to think someone would do the same for me.

Last summer they did help me & when I see them again a large number of tins of beer will be deposited in their boat !

I have had notes thrust into my hand before when towing someone in , but refused them its not about money for me - just trying to help people out who are clearly having a less than good day .
That's about the top and bottom of it

Jim
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Old 12 January 2009, 15:51   #4
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I towed a hardboat in last year with a blown up engine, like most folk it didn't cross my mind to ask for money for doing so.
It might be me next time.......
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Old 12 January 2009, 16:13   #5
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I agree with others - I'd tow someone in (if I could) and expect nothing on the hope that if it happened to me someone would do the same for me. However people are clearly aware of their rights and exercise them!
Seems a bit mean to me - if you find someone in genuine difficulties, saving them and then asking them for money for the privilege of doing so?
Its like finding someone in the street who had tripped and fallen - ringing the emergency services and then holding on to their coat until they paid you the money for the phone call!!
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Old 12 January 2009, 16:21   #6
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I'm with those above-BUT...
Having heard of some really rude people (and ben on the end of a couple who didn't even acknowledge that we'd gone 5 miles out of our way to tow their empty drifting speedboat that had broken it's moorings back.)

Who'd be tempted to claim salvage if the boat owner/crew were snotty and didn't even say thanks after cutting your day by half and costing you a load in fuel?
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Old 12 January 2009, 16:34   #7
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Have only learnt about this very recently and I was bloody shocked! Fair enough if towing someone in has sent you well out of your way and they offer something towards the fuel then all is good. But to charge some poor bugger?
If how ever it turns out to be a thankless job like Nos describes then I would be thinking of ventilating the bottom of there boat late one night

It's nice to be nice, furry muff?
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Old 12 January 2009, 16:54   #8
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Thats the thing .. I've towed in a few and been offered a few bob and refused, and then some who havent even given me a thanks or the time of day and some cant seem to resist getting in trouble so we know who to not bother about next time .. trouble is when the CG gets involved .. we all pay anyway .. I have found the odd bottle of whisky tucked under my seat before now
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Old 12 January 2009, 18:07   #9
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A few years back I was out in a Feeling 36 foot sailing yacht and we heard a pan pan from a boat in Hurst narrows whose engine had failed. I was teaching pile moorings in Yarmouth Harbour and their was a strong falling tide. I called up the Coast Guard and offered to assist. Turns out the boat was a Moody 38 (sailing yacht). We set of to pick him up unsure exactly what the problem was.

While we motored downtide at about 9 knots SOG he was drifting down at 2-3 SOG, I called him and up and told him to try and get to the side of the channel and slow down his drift- His reply was “don’t be stupid man, are you trying to put me aground”.

I replied- “No, Just trying to help can you not get into slightly shallower water and drop the hook while we catch up with you”.

He said he did not have an anchor.

Eventually we caught up with him and set up an alongside tow in the vicinity of the Needles. As soon as we had the bow spring and bow line on we put her into forward and started to stem the rush of water trying to squirt out of the Solent. We made for the Island shore to makes thing a little easier and were initially doing about 1 knot over the ground with this lump on our side and a falling tide. As we slowly crept forward on absolute full revs we picked up another knot. Just as I finished arranging fenders etc I notice a nice shiny anchor sitting on the bow roller of his yacht.

His wife was very grateful, he was pretty grumpy with us, saying this was wrong, that was wrong, watch you don’t scratch my hull etc.

I told him we were bound for Yarmouth and we were going to be a long time with him on the side. I added that if it helped I could take him over to Lymington instead. He replied, “ No we are going to Southampton”.

I explained that we were not and that I would drop him in Yarmouth or Lymington. (At this point Lymington would have been about 4.5 hrs of my day). He again said, “No, I want to go to Southampton”, this continued for a few minutes until I eventually instructed my crew to untie him.

At this point we were at the North end of Alum Bay and its about 1.25 hrs since we first responded to his call. I jumped on his boat, told my helm to let the revs of and I dropped his anchor over board. I payed out plenty scope cleated it off and jumped aboard my yacht. The helm steered us of and as we set of leaving him behind shouting his head off I went straight down below to call the C/guard and say he had refused our assistance but he was now safely anchored in xyz position.

I got quite a shock when I came up on deck and discovered his wife had jumped onto my yacht behind me rather than face stuck on an anchor with him. She kept apologising for him and said it served him right. We returned to Yarmouth and moored up on the wall for the night. The bloke’s wife took as all to the pub for a couple of rounds before she jumped in a cab for Cowes Red Jet

I would love to lie at this point and say she was some bombshell, but she w about 55.

Anyway he was about the most un grateful bastard I have ever had the misfortune to meet. I’ve no idea how long he staid there but we did keep an ear out to see if he called the Coatsgurd up again. I’ve also no idea why he did not have any sails up, it was light winds but not that light. We had after all been sailing on and off the piles.
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Old 12 January 2009, 18:22   #10
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What Doug Said...
That's shocking!
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Old 12 January 2009, 18:36   #11
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How much did you charge him, Doug?
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Old 12 January 2009, 19:55   #12
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Bedajim, Bruce, and Tony;

The primary part of salvage law is that, prior to rendering assistance, there has to risk of loss to vessel, cargo, or crew. A simple tow for someone who is out of gas or has a broken motor does not qualify unless there is risk of loss (other than time.) If they're broken, and danger of washing onto shore with no way of halting their progress (if you want to call it that), that would qualify.


But, since we're on tow stories:

Last summer I was coming back in from a dive, and heard a call to the CG from a boat who was "a mile outside the harbor, and we're out of gas." The CG gave him the runaround, and said they'd call Vessel Assist (a commercial tow service.) Vessel Assist is located in Santa Cruz, a cool, what, 20, 25 miles north, which means the guy would have paid VA's fuel to Monterey, probably 6 or 8 bucks a gallon for whatever they delivered, and VA's return fuel; likely a 600 to 800 USD charge. So, I headed out, found the guy, and we set up a tow. Took maybe 15 minutes or so to get him into the harbor and tied up. A little later, I saw him trying to move to the fuel dock, so I retied to him and moved him there (all 50 feet or so.) The guy handed me a couple of bills, which I never looked at , but tucked in a convenient spot. A few minutes later, the guys grandson came back and said his grandad wanted me to have this, but he forgot. I declined, but the kid insisted. So I tucked that along with the other bills. They got fueled up and took off, and I waved goodbye as they motored to the other ramp. Only then did I look at the bills: 160 bucks. Not bad for 15 minutes (though if I knew it was that much, I really would have protested. I thought $20 would have been enough to cover my gas.)

jky
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Old 12 January 2009, 22:11   #13
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JKy,
think thats the differance between people who are totaly oblivious to the costs and those who know what the commercial tow services charge.
I often get waved down (must be the orange RIB and they think I am a coastie) and try and help the best I can. But you have to be a little reserved and not make it your full time job.
I had one boat who waved me over while I was fishing with my kids, as he got caught in the kelp.
I heaved a line and dragged him out and then towed him back to the dock.
He didn't even offer to buy my my kids an ice cream and although I wasn't looking for a profit, I was really expecting the gesture
So ,sounds as though you got an appreciative one who knows what you saved him
Good job! (both morally and financialy!!!! )
cheers dal
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Old 13 January 2009, 02:37   #14
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Thanks, Darryl (sp?)

I really wasn't expecting anything in return, but I figured maybe $20 or so would cover my time and gas (I would have been sitting around in the parking lot with a sandwich if I hadn't gone after him, anyway); it was quite a shock to see what he did volunteer. And yes, it is easily justifiable when you consider what the commercial guys bill would have been.

I regularly try to help people out; as someone above said, it helps with karma should I require assistance one day. So far it's been limited to six short tows (twice being a friend and fellow diver), a standby for a dead boat heading for the beach (CG arrived in about 15 minutes, just as I was going to drag them further out), a recovery of a couple of capsized kayakers (and subsequent return to the beach - four yakkers and 2 yaks), and a few searches for misplaced divers. Oh, and one instance like yours where I dragged a small inflatable out of kelp (which is interesting, as I often motor directly through kelp paddies without too much problem.)

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Old 13 January 2009, 03:06   #15
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So far,

have not had any abuse off any vessel that I've come across in need of aid.

In a way, would be interesting to experience it, just to get an obnoxious job under me belt.

What is the standings on agressive / abusive scenarios at sea? We are requested to inform the CG and they will then deem whether it is necessary to get additional resource either on scene or quayside.

Have heard a number of tales re drunken sailors getting a wallop off the people who have come to their assistance, after they'd been subjected to a tirade of verbal and physical abuse from the would be casualty.
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Old 13 January 2009, 03:17   #16
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had some matey in a tender stop me a couple of years back in the hamble said he'd run out of fuel, i gave him a line to tow him back to safety but he said he wanted to go to his boat first to unload some stuff, that didn't happen
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Old 13 January 2009, 03:50   #17
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As far as I' aware if you call the RNLI the crew can claim salvage as long as the cost to launch and the fuel used is covered and paid back to the RNLI.
I think this has happened only once and the crew were "no longer needed/welcome" on station after that.

A note I read on another site claimed the RNLI themselves could claim salvage but then obviously no one would call them.

http://lifeboatjohn.wordpress.com/2007/01/20/salvage/
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Old 13 January 2009, 05:20   #18
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How much did you charge him, Doug?
There was no implication of any charge at any time. Apart fom the fact that like everyone I will someday need (and have had) a tow from another boat and think we should all help each other, I did have some other agendas.

Fot the students on board week 6ish of a 17 week fast track course to actually render assistance, set up an alongside tow for real and go through the radio procedures with the coast guard is a fantastic teaching oppurtunity and gets them in the right mind set fr theeir new career. By this stage they have discsused all these sorts of things in the classroom but never put them into practice.

Like most people I think a drink or some kind of thank you is appropriate, but thats their option. Ive lost count of how many tows I have given. The one described above was the only negative experience. Sometimes its just a 50m to the pontoon job and occasioanlly its in response to their Pan Pan or Mayday (downgraded to pan pan) call. There was one crew we picked up drifting N of Ryde Sounds, it was a family, first weekend out on their new (second hand coded charter managed) yacht. They had been to Bembridge and left there on the falling tide. The engine had faile N of Ryde.

They could have sailed but did not seem to grasp that and put out a mayday. There was a little confusion over their position but the Coastagurd asked them a series of question and moved them to Ch 67. At this point I offered the tow, CG agreed and left us to get on with it. We towed them into Haslar (not their home port but closest marina), they fed us all night and gave us copious amounts of alchol. The father made several runs back to the off license asissted by a couple of my crew. They were a really nice family. During the tow back in one of my crew, fixed their engine (impellor change and priming) for them, alongside the dock another one of my crew went up their mast and fixed their wind insruments, later in the eve Im pretty sure 1 of my crew disappeared for a while and fixed his daughter. He did not seem to mind.

In fact he and her joined us for a SRC course a month or so later.
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Old 13 January 2009, 06:33   #19
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later in the eve Im pretty sure 1 of my crew disappeared for a while and fixed his daughter. He did not seem to mind.
Sounds like he was really grateful then ... and what a full service you provided Doug
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Old 13 January 2009, 10:51   #20
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So far,
What is the standings on agressive / abusive scenarios at sea?
I've pulled up on a few disabled boats and offered assistance, only to be rather rudely told to shove off (and not in those words. Mostly drunken fishermen.) Those guys are left to their own devices.

They weren't in any imminent danger at the time (if there were, I think it would come down to a gut reaction as to whether assistance was forced on them or not.)

Salvage laws (note how I cleverly steered that back on topic ) were written to entice captains to come to the aid of those in need; not force them to.

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