Salvors of Government Wreck not entitled to Award when Salvage Rejected

Tuesday, July 06, 2004
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that salvors of a government wreck are not entitled to a salvage award where the government rejected the offer of salvage. In the instant case, plaintiffs located the wreck of a U.S. Navy World War II torpedo bomber off the coast of Florida. They offered to sell the location to the Navy. The Navy declined and advised that any attempt to salvage the aircraft would result in legal action to prevent an unauthorized taking. Plaintiffs undertook limited salvage efforts and then brought suit to clarify their legal rights. The court held that the Navy had the right to reject salvage and the salvors were not entitled to a salvage award on these facts. International Aircraft Recovery, LLC v. Unidentified Wrecked and Abandoned Aircraft, No. 02-16997 (11th Cir.) (HK Law)

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