What is marine salvage

Marine salvage is the process of rescuing a vessel and its cargo from peril and danger at sea. There are many types of marine salvage ranging from cargo and equipment to clearance salvage. In general, marine salvage can be performed in the following manners; towing, re-floating a sunken ship, or repairing a vessel.

Marine salvage explained

Salvors refer to the engineers and specialist seamen who are responsible for recovering vessels at danger from the sea. It is important that salvors are experienced and skilled seamen, as many marine salvage cases will involve the use of cranes, divers and use of special marine equipment.

The principle of marine salvage is to rescue or repair a vessel and to clear a channel for navigation; it is also imperative for marine salvage to act in all manners to prevent marine pollution and associated damages to marine environment. Typically, the prevention of marine pollution is of the highest priority for marine salvages.

Types of salvage include:

  • Offshore salvage (refloating of ships in exposed waters)
  • Wreck removal (removing dangerous wrecks with no salvage value)
  • Cargo and equipment salvage (rescuing cargo and other vessel equipment onboard a vessel in peril)
  • Clearance salvage (removal or numerous vessels damaged and causing navigation problems in a waterway or harbor – typical a result of natural disasters such as hurricanes)
  • Afloat salvage (salvaging a vessel that is afloat but seriously damaged and at risk at sea)

It is important for vessel owners to be aware of marine salvage and marine insurance rights when purchasing a vessel as protecting your boat at sea is vital. Individuals who wish to obtain the appropriate marine insurance policy are advised to seek the assistance of a professional consultancy firm to ensure that they complete the procedure in an efficient and timely manner.