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~ Towing - Salvage costs ~
Letter to the Cruising Helmsman magazine - July 2004 ~

These pages were inspired as the result of an article appearing in the Cruising Helmsman magazine wherein a yacht received a 'huge' bill as the result of asking for a 'Tow' from a passing commercial vessel.  The yacht was not 'disabled' but simply becalmed, and its 'skipper' feared drifting onto rocks.

Thus I write a few lines on towing and salvage that are to get your minds thinking on a variety of possibilities.  Asking for a 'tow' when your vessel is not in danger is simply a 'tow,' and asking for your yacht to be 'saved' or 'salved' so that the other can claim salvage 'rights' and earn a salvage fee is another.

In either case, the present 'way' of man generally has a lot to be desired, as greed has flourished especially when man uses the fear of loss of life or the 'rules' reference salvage to steal from his 'brother' or 'sister' in strife.  I hope that the reader ensures that if ever they are in a position of 'power,' that they remain sane and caring and helpful to the other and forget the 'fee' possibility.

Dear Caroline - I refer to your 'Ins & outs' of towing, and write this to aid those that are unsure of 'comebacks.' In the first instance a 'salvage' tow claim $ amount payable by insurers depends upon the actual danger that the vessel was in, and thus 'saved' from, at the moment the 'tow' was asked for or 'offered.'

In either 'case' there needs to be a verbal (shouted) or written agreement as to what is to be done, and an agreed price if there is someone on board the 'endangered' vessel.  If the vessel is unattended and drifting outside harbour limits or anchored off a reef or beach flying a 'help me' flag then, the towing or 'salvage' costs will be decided on by 'sane' minds when it is towed into port.

The 'tug' has the financial 'advantage' if the 'towed' accepts its line and, it is then also the responsibility of the 'towed' to release the tug line if there is danger of collision, for the 'towed' one has 'accepted' the tow. 

It is 'cheaper' to throw a line to the 'tug,' for it is then the responsibility of its 'crew' to protect itself by lengthening or releasing the tow in the event of any possible collision. 

In the article the yacht was not 'disabled, - - it was merely 'becalmed,' and its 'master' was in a hurry to move or 'fearful' of being unable to anchor safely off the beach if he drifted towards it and, - - - he should have said: "G'day - - I'll give you a carton of beer if you tow me for a mile or all the way."

As for the 'tug,' its 'master' was a thief who took advantage of another and thus set a 'trap' for his own 'grief' when, on another day he asks for a tow and is then taken to the 'cleaners.' The 'tower' has the 'advantage' of being merciful or merciless in his demands, so let us 'bless' those that can 'see' that "What we do comes back to we."

I can only 'assume' that the towed one did not have an 'adequate' anchor on board or was unfamiliar with the correct way of anchoring, and was thus 'fearful' of a possible 'indisposition' ahead.  Thus he and all need to read my 'notes on safe anchoring.'

I would 'suggest' that the 'towee' invest in an 'ARK' anchor and 'lengthy' ground tackle so that he has no 'fears' of losing his craft on another day.  He may also like to purchase a Para anchor as it too may ease his 'fears' if ever dis-masted.

The 'hitching a ride' in a sailboat as occurred in your article was simply that, a 'free ride' and not the subject' an insurance claim.  It is apparent to me that many today are 'generally' taking advantage of others, and all I can say to these 'idiots' is "Get a life."

To Toppage 2

Notes: - The 'yachtie' that becomes the 'towee' thinks: "How much will I have to pay to be saved." The 'tower' or 'tug' master who may be another yachtie or a commercial fisherman or a commercial 'operator' will either think: "How much can I make out of the 'salvage' of their 'ship' using the precedents and rules of man to 'back' my claims" or, - - -

They will think: "What can I do that will assist the owners of the yacht in distress for free, for that will be my good deed of the day." Those who use the sea to make a living are certainly entitled to fair and proper compensation for the time, fuel, loss of profits or loss of catch, etc, but do not simply pay any non-agreed 'bill' received for 'towing' by a fishing vessel or other commercial craft without checking their recorded daily income and, - - -

Check what in fact they were doing or 'earning' on the day in question.  For you may simply have been needing a 'tow' in their direction of travel, and may not have inconvenienced them very much.

What is the difference between a tow and salvage?

The 'salver' may very well be a 'volunteer' swimming over to a vessel in distress in order to salvage or 'save it' by giving his personal assistance because the 'skipper' is incapacitated etc and it is in danger but also, Salvage is a 'professional' business operation carried out by designated Salvage companies that 'earn' a salary from their legal and official business.

Salvage is the recovery of a vessel that was in a perilous situation.
It is deemed 'salvaged' when it has been towed into a safe harbour.

Because man has been 'conditioned' by precedent to 'work' within the (law) or rather within the dictates of rules or imposed codes of conduct, man's direction does not always use the 'code' or regulations in an honest manner, and many a man does his 'best' via 'lawyers' to use said rules in man's court to 'legally' steal from others that 'he' found in a 'distressing' or 'perilous' state that enabled him to take advantage of their predicament.

It is my 'intent' to alert all 'legal thieves' to their errant ways, so that when you or they are out 'sailing' you can all begin to remain steady and true as you find yourself either in a position of trust or, you have become the one 'thrust' into a dangerous situation. 

Just try and remember that in any situation, your conduct reflects upon your nature, your spiritual stature, and your own 'future.' It is always best to purchase good 'futures' plan rather than a 'sad' one.  Stay sane and merciful on the day that another's life or wife or children or 'vessel' have by GOD been placed at your 'mercy.'

Certainly there is a 'condition' called 'No cure no pay' that may be the 'contract' entered into by the parties concerned.  But there is also an 'endless' variable within which agreements can be reached wherein there is a payment for 'effort' on the part of the 'salver,' even if the 'ship' they seek to save becomes ultimately 'lost in a storm.'

In the case where an unattended yacht anchored off 'North West' island may drag its anchor into deepwater and blow away 'north' for a week and a day and be 'found' by a passing vessel that then tows it to safe anchorage, there is no 'formal' salvage agreement and there is no 'theft' and there is a 'salvage' claim - - - thus the insurers of said vessel will 'happily' pay a certain sum for its safe recovery and also 'consider' all the 'expenses and time and effort of salvers.

To Toppage 3

Some believe that in Australian waters for a salvage claim to be successful,
that it must generally be outside the 12 miles territorial waters.

One cannot 'honestly' use the word 'generally,' for there is no 'general' rule, there is but the 'general' mentality of man be it sane or irrational, kind or merciless and, if any man thinks that I cannot 'claim' a salvage fee from you if your vessel is 'rescued' from becoming destroyed in the 'surf' on the Australian coastline, then insanity does prevail and, in any 'case,' I would save any vessel in my sight be it for free to help you or to ensure that it would on another day be seen sailing gracefully in my sight.

When is a tow a salvage?

A tow is a 'salvage' when the 'tug' attaches itself to another vessel and finds themselves in the position of 'salver' due to the towed vessel being in a dangerous situation from which it is unable to extricate itself or, it is 'grounded' etc and needs to be 'salvaged' and towed to a port after being 'saved,' thus the 'tow' is salvage.

Thus it has been a worthwhile tow that has become 'salvaged.' Towage is also used to tow a disabled vessel from one safe harbour to another for repairs etc.

Damage by Salvers

Damage by salvers can occur.  No person of sane mind commits a 'criminal' act.  Thus any person that causes damage to any vessel they are 'salving' through ignorance or 'unfortunate' conduct must not be 'punished' by the vessel owner in an attempt to retrieve their loss if the craft is uninsured. 

If it is insured, then their insurer has the 'obligation' of settlement, and any 'dispute' is left to the insurer.  Hopefully their 'assessor' will override any 'legal' wrangle by indicating to the insurer that their principle obligation is to pay for the 'whole' under their policy, as that is what the insured paid their premium for.

To Toppage 4

What is the distinction between towing in an emergency situation?
And in a non-emergency situation?

The distinction is simply what it is, emergency v/s non-emergency.  Thus in the emergency there is either an agreed* 'salvage' price prior to 'passing the line' or there is not, and the insurer & salver will 'judge' the price, be it equitably or in the Court.

Note - agreed* - the insurer or owner may seek to 'debate' this later.  As for the non-emergency situation there is a fee 'simple' that has been agreed upon on a 'mileage' or 'job' basis prior to the tow being undertaken.

Must the consent of the insurer be acquired first?

Only where it so permits, for if a vessel is 'drifting' towards a reef, it is unlikely that the skipper is going to consider such.  He or she will only be concerned with saving life as well as the vessel and will seek an 'immediate' agreement to price or even leave it 'open slather.'

Only a 'foolish' insurer would seek the 'bias' of an ignorant person in any claim settlement or dispute.  Regrettably it is the 'lawyers' that appear to be ignorant as to the common code of conduct that they should remember being: 'Seek an honest equitable' agreement rather than their instigating and perpetuating the 'Court' fight.

Abandoned vessels.

A vessel that is 'anchored' or tethered cannot be construed as abandoned, but even it may still be in a dangerous position and require salving by a passer by and, it may be 'towed' into safety without asking anyone if it is unmanned.

Example: A yacht is seen anchored in breakers flying a distress flag, and on closer inspection is seen to be 'deserted.' A 'swimmer' takes a line in his teeth 'braves' the waves, and after attaching it, the yacht is pulled clear and towed to port Clinton.  This was done by me off Rockhampton in 1980 and the 'distraught' owner was happy to hear from me that my 'salvage' price was a carton of beer for my crew.

What is the role of the insurer in these matters?

The role of the insurer in all cases is to fulfill their obligation as per the terms of the contract of insurance.  Thus it is imperative for the insured to fully understand the contract before they pay any premium.  There is no point in trying to 'legally' force insurers to make 'Ex-gratia' payments.  They sometimes do so if the 'Assessor' has the capacity to 'breach' the 'consciousness' of the claims manager.

Understanding ones rights.

The only 'right' that one has is the right to 'head off' into the blue yonder, be it day or night but, - - - we have no right to expect or demand or reprimand others that may or may not wish to come to our aid in the even of an emergency.

The 'demand and blame game' only came into 'vogue' when 'State' governments decided to be our 'keepers' and to also legislate what they considered as their requirements of us and, - - - attached to every requirement is a penalty clause.

I can only suggest that each person does their best to become self-sufficient and prepare for every emergency.  This way they will be in a position to assist others that are less prepared.  There is far too much reliance today on radios, beacons, etc.  It seems that we have 'lost' the right to live or die as we see fit.  But the 'enforcers' have not lost their imposed right to punish those they see 'living' in non-conformity to their 'protectionism.'

To Toppage 5

The obligation to save property and life.

There is no 'obligation,' there is but the Light and the Dark and all between.  Those 'of' the Light will do all they can for free, and those of the Dark will do all they can to gain the 'upper hand' over you and me.  If 'one' cannot forgo a days 'earn' and help the other, then for sure their mind and soul is in great 'bother.'

Other than this, all I can say is that you either walk your life using reason to help you or, you use the dictatorial 'rulebook' of man to protect you.  I say it is better to never 'fight' for compensation, for I have seen many a 'man' ignore my recommendation to walk away and go in peace 'shouldering' their loss,' and by their own 'decision' employ 'knights' to fight for them in the Court of 'Caesar' and lose all, even their wife and family.

The Court of man uses coercive legislation to enforce, punish, extort, seize and 'pirate' others money or property through 'ruled' precedents.  Thus all 'sane' people need to keep their 'actions' out of man's Court, for that is the place where 'wolves' in the guise of legal experts 'cross' swords using your money to your detriment, both materially and spiritually. 

The Court of man enables 'extortion' under the guise of 'legitimate business,' thus and Lloyds Salvage 'rule' of "No cure no pay" may sound positive, but in fact is not, as it 'permits' that Salver to 'claim' a high reward if he 'cures' the ill one.

It's a little like a 'solicitor' that solicits your business for 'free,' but then demands a huge % of your 'win' if he fights 'hard' and is via 'rules' found to be 'lucky.' It's naught but a 'viper' strike by one against the other, 'condoned' by 'rocky' hard agreements that appear 'soft.'

Never employ a solicitor to 'fight,' rather employ a kindly one as an 'assessor' that responsibly assesses the situation and then advises you of the true and correct way to go.  Only those that have lost in Court get to know how 'savage' the 'business' world is as 'it' behaves as a beast because it follows set antagonistic 'rules of engagement.'

There is no 'mercy' within the court of man due to the fact that the 'text' in the rules or precedents have no 'conscience' as such, as it is purely written text and, - - - none of the 'combating' solicitors are concerned with anything other than 'spearing' the 'point' of their lance home into the 'flesh' of the other to prove to the 'judge' and you that they have 'earned' their wage of the day.

To Toppage 6

Too many rely on Insurers and the System to help them.  Not only this, but due to the fact that they 'lean' on insurers or others, they are less inclined to think for themselves and be more 'care-full' of their vessel and its safety equipment.* Try now to become more self-sufficient and plan to stay safe each day by looking ahead. 

Note: safety equipment.* - not the radio or epirb, but a good 'safety' anchor and plenty of chain and rope, and plenty of food and water and warm clothing on board an 'unsinkable' craft and, most of all a steady clear thinking mind.

Foolish are the 'fools' that set sail into the 'teeth' of a maelstrom simply because they wish to win a 'race,' and then seek compensation or help from others when they chose the wrong tack.  As I see it, any situation you 'suffer' is your due.  Be true and suffer it 'quietly' and try and learn* from the experience.

Note: learn* - If a 'tug' master overcharges you then that was your spiritual due imposed by a 'fool' who will ahead find that some other does it to them too.  If you are left in the 'lurch' when in need, then that is your due for in your past 'life' similarly leaving others in the lurch. 

So learn to always be courteous and kind and never 'bind' others in need by using the Court to steal money from their purse, or you will be 'bound' in the Devil's purse seine 'net' and eternally fret.

If you can 'simply' remember that the 'singular' law of God "As you do is done unto you" is in operation every moment of passing time, then you will ensure that your 'conduct' is exemplary at all times and, - - - you will never 'consider' loss of earnings for the day when another yacht or crew are in distress and, - - -

Thus you will also never 'undress' their purse simply because you are in a position to so do.  God sees your daily intent as well as your deed.  So place your 'bet' and 'debenture' on helping others rather than making them fret, in the surety that what you do will by God be done unto you.

Note: - Advise your Insurer in writing as soon as there is the possibility of any damage or possible salvage expenses so that they can quickly begin their own investigation.  Once the vessel is salved, have its 'damage' assessed if it ran aground etc, and when the 'bill' for salving is to be 'presented,' it is always best to 'present' it personally to the Insurance Broker or the Insurance Company claims manager, so that you can discuss it face to face and then quite possibly receive the settlement cheque prior to leaving the office.

The best 'insurance policy' is a steady mind that can plan rationally.  I am a man that spent many years as a 'part time' loss assessor for Lloyds of London and other insurers when I lived on the East Coast of Africa however, I personally do not 'own' any insurance policy, for I prefer to place my trust in God and will 'handle' any 'loss' without seeking reimbursement from another.

I would also add that the Court of man (Caesar) is not the place for 'justice,' it is the place where 'legitimate' Piracy is accomplished by 'white collar' thieves.  I would recommend that you never 'enter' its devilish 'walls' unless you are dragged there by 'heavies.'

To Toppage 7

I would also suggest that you never 'entertain' the thought of employing 'solicitous wolves' to fight therein on your behalf and thus 'drag' others into its devilish space, for truly you both will be a disgrace in God's eyes and be 'stripped' of your every penny by said 'wolves.'

When you use 'solicitors' to write letters on your behalf, the 'recipient' then knows that you are 'prepared' to fight to attain the 'demands' within the letter that the solicitor wrote as a 'knight' prepared to fight on your behalf.

It is always best to personally call on the insurer of the other 'party' if you wish to make claim against them, and in a friendly way seek settlement.  If this you cannot do then seek the advice of a kind and nice 'assessor' or other 'unarmed'* person to intercede for you but never resort to Court action.

Note: 'unarmed'* - Solicitors are 'armed' in that they have to 'fight' to win and thus earn their wage.  Thus they are 'geared' to using 'forceful' tactics as well as using 'rules' of man that permit them 'leeway' and, at the end of the day both opposing solicitors win a 'fat' sum even if you or the other fall undone.

Always seek to stay steady and calm if the amount is disputed by the Insurer, and always agree to a compromise and as said, never take the 'matter' to Court.

Added 'use' for anchors.

In my 'youth' my fishing vessel had no radio, no automatic pilot, nor epirb, and only a flashing light depth sounder.  I did a lot of night 'trawling' for beche de mer south of Mombasa (West of the Pemba channel fishing club) on dark nights each month, and the area was 'bounded' by a rocky bottom and shoaling water with a 'trawlable' mud/sand area of some 10 x 5 kms.

The 'idea' was to trawl slowly through the night at 2 knots and fill the huge 'cod' end with 2 - 6 tons of beche de mer (sea cucumbers).  There was no 'winch' on my small 35' craft and muscles alone would not lift the catch on board, so at daybreak I would pull in by the beach on the high tide in a protected area and the net was hauled into the shallows to await low tide (fall of 10') to then be emptied.

However, the 'message' in this story is that I used to go to the middle of the fishing grounds and anchor there until 10 pm when the beche de mer surface out of the seabed in their thousands on the darkest of nights.  I then lashed the tiller to one side and also left my anchor hanging down 10 metres as I commenced my slow 2-knot 'circular' trawl.

I then went back to sleep in the knowledge that the 'wanderings' of my boat would be halted, not 'if' but when a few hours later at 3 -5 am it would 'snag' a rock or 'set' in shallowing water.  The 'change' in the 'note' of the engine would awaken me and I would simply switch it off and go back to sleep until daybreak.  This way my net was safe from snagging a big coral outcrop and my vessel was also safe from grounding.

I write this as it may help a 'sleepy' yachtie cruising near islands during the night, for if 'she or he' simply leaves their anchor 'hanging' off a 20 metre length of line it will ensure that they have no unpleasant surprise if they fall asleep.

So says 'Noah'



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