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Handling Salvage of Another Ship- Salvage Reports & Towing Arrangement

Ship salvage is the manner of rescuing a vessel and its cargo after a shipwreck or other maritime disaster. Salvage may encompass towing, re-floating a craft, or effecting repairs to a ship. Today, protecting the waterfront environment from spillage of oil or other contaminants is a high preference. Nowadays, most salvage is carried out by specialist salvage firms with dedicated crew and facilities.

There might be occasions at sea, a ship is in distress and need immediate assistance, but there are no professional salvage services available in the vicinity. As per SOLAS, all ships on international voyages have a mandatory duty to proceed to rescue operation to save a life, but there is no obligation to protect cargo or the ship. An offer of salvage assistance may be refused. However, it might be accepted if a shipowner approves of doing that in return for a salvage reward.

containerships operational matters
Oil Tanker Safety Guide
When the Master has to conclude a salvage contract with a ship in distress without prior contact with the Company, he should prepare the contract under the condition that the salvage award shall finally be decided by the Company. Typically, a Lloyds Open Form ( LOF ) is the widely accepted document that routinely used by a ship in distress and a salvor ship. The Master obliges to rescue must report it to his management company and update them about the developments as soon as possible

The Master should consider the following matters before concluding the contract:
  1. What will be the ship owner’s position about the deviation and the term of release based on the conditions mentioned in the Charter Party or the Bill of Lading;
  2. The effect of the delay to the cargo on board the vessel;
  3. The reserve of fuel oil;
  4. Capability and conditions of the main and auxiliary machinery;
  5. Equipment and materials for salvage;
  6. Probability of success;
The Master shall prepare a detailed report of the salvage operation carried out by the vessel.
Ship in distress need immediate assistance
Ship in distress need immediate assistance

Salvage Report

After the completion of the salvage operation, the Master shall prepare a “Salvage Report” and other necessary documents certified by a notary public or the nearest Government Maritime Agency, and send them to the Company.

The report shall state the following matters as far as possible :
  1. The flag, name, and gross tonnage of the salvaged ship;
  2. The name and address of the ship owner of the salvaged ship;
  3. The name and address of the Master of the salvaged ship;
  4. The kind and amount of cargo onboard the salvaged ship;
  5. The port of departure and port of destination of the salvaged ship;
  6. The name of the insurance company and insured value of the salvaged ship;
  7. The date, place and cause of the accident involving the salvaged ship;
  8. The date, time and exact position of the start and completion of the salvage operation;
  9. The method of salvage;
  10. Weather and sea conditions during the salvage operation;
  11. Consumed or damaged hull, machinery, equipment and outfit, fuel, materials, and others of the vessel that has been used for the salvage operation; and
  12. Any other matters necessary for the settlement of the salvage.

Necessary Documents
  1. The Master shall prepare a Salvage Agreement with the Master of the salvaged ship, and send Two Original copies to the Company;
  2. The Master shall send the Company, copies of the Deck Log Book for the term before, during and after the salvage operation, and Abstract of logs in necessary number.
  3. The Master shall send to the Company, Vouchers of expenses for salvage with information such as the purpose and name of the vessel.

Attention to Towing

In towing operation, the Master shall pay attention to the following matters:
  1. The towing ship shall pay attention that Towing wire is not wound by the Propeller;
  2. The standard length of towing wire is three or four times the ship’s length (3L to 4L), and use of one Shackle of Anchor Chain disconnected shall be considered as a Middleweight;
  3. Tension on a towing wire increases in proportion to the cube of speed
  4. The vessel shall be maneuvered so that the towing ship, towing wire and towed ship are in a line;
  5. In rough weather, the bow shall be directed against wind and waves. If wind and waves are very rough, run at dead slow speed. In an emergency, disconnect towing wire, and await for improvements of weather;
  6. Consider selecting the route and anchoring for Refuge if required; and
  7. In the event the towing wire has to be disconnected, care shall be taken for the towing wire not to be caught by the Propeller.

Related Information

The Master’s Responsibility during Salvage Operation

Guideline for salvage of another ship after collision accident

Emergency check items to find a missing crew Handling the salvage of another ship,salvage report and towing arrangement

Requirement of towing arrangement in oil tankers, readyness, & training onboard

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