Sunday, June 29, 2008

Its All About Peril

Two interesting cases were recently decided in court, and the decisions should act as a reminder to all salvors that rule number one in a salvage claim is the existance of a marine peril. Without peril, you got squat.

In the first case, Sea Tow Portland/Vancouver v. Yacht High Steaks, a tower took an unmanned yacht off the hands of a fire boat, and moved the yacht to a safe location away from a dock fire. The court found there was indeed some peril, even though a government rescue agency had already moved the yacht away from the fire, so a valid salvage claim was in force. The actual award was pretty small after the court took into account the remaining Blackwall factors.

The second case, Cape Ann Towing v. M/Y Universal Lady, the court found that no peril existed at the time the salvor showed up, because the yacht was already tied up to another yacht after running free as a hurricane passed over the area....and their $487,500 salvage claim was reduced to $2,706. OUCH.

You can read more details on these cases by [clicking here]. This link opens the current MLAUS (Maritime Law Association of the US) recreational boating newsletter. Scroll down to page 9. Past issues of the newsletter are also available here