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Salvage & wreck removal

Many shipping casualties involve the need to rescue the ship, cargo and the crew, or the passengers on a cruise ship. The ship may have grounded on a rock or sandbank and be unable to free herself. Or her engines may have broken down, leaving her without power in the middle of the high seas. Or the ship herself can sail, but there has been an accident to cargo (a fire, a shift in the stow, or just the first signs of trouble) which make it dangerous or unwise to carry on with the voyage.

24 hour emergency response hotline: +44 (0)20 7283 6999.

In all these cases, salvage is likely to be needed – in other words, expert assistance and advice from professional salvors, who operate tugs and other craft and can re-deliver the ship to a safe place.

Salvage operations are usually urgently needed and can be difficult. The risks to the safety of the crew and of further damage to your ship following a casualty mean that as the shipowner you will quickly be under pressure to make decisions. Which salvor should be engaged? On what terms? Is the closest salvor always the best choice? Who is responsible for obtaining any necessary permissions from the country where the ship is? You will face a number of problems – pollution or the risk of it, damage to the marine environment, a hostile media, and worry and concern for safety on board. You will also be under business pressure to minimise your financial exposure and, for example, gather and preserve as much evidence as you can in the midst of everything.

And when the salvage operation has taken place, and your ship and cargo are safe, you will have a new set of decisions to make. Where to repair the ship, when to repair it, whether to offload the cargo meanwhile or to tranship it on another vessel. And how to preserve a series of damaged business relationships.

We can guide you through the full process. We act regularly for shipowners, insurers, cargo owners, and salvors on all the issues that casualties and salvage operations raise. We deal at high level with concerns about pollution and the environment, towage, wreck removal and ship recycling issues. We deal nearly every day with all types of salvage agreements, ranging from Lloyd’s Open Form incorporating SCOPIC to day rate contracts. We know the different pressures caused by government authorities and local interests, and we are able to help there too.

As with all the work we do, our aim is to provide you with fast, practical advice – advice which deals with the problems at hand and also has an eye on your long-term business and reputation. We work with you to get you through an unexpected crisis and a difficult time.

For more information and to discuss your requirements contact Ian Chetwood.

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