Owner of Salved and Salving Vessels Entitled to Salvage Award

Wednesday, August 06, 2003
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that a company that owns both the salved vessel and the vessel performing salvage may be entitled to share in the salvage award. In the instant case, a tug owned by the company caught fire while towing a barge in the Gulf of Alaska. The company diverted another one of its tugs to the scene. This second tug had been equipped with salvage gear. The second tug brought the first tug and the barge under tow and they eventually reached port. The crew of the second tug sued for a salvage award. In addition to resisting the suit, the company contended that it was entitled to share in any award the court might make. The trial court awarded salvage to the crew, but denied any proceeds to the company. The appellate court held that the right to remuneration for salvage services is not affected by common ownership of the two vessels involved. The issue is whether the salving vessel was put at risk. Bartholomew v. Crowley Marine Service Source: HK Law

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