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Salvor

fed, cas, salvage, property, ship, hagg, salvors, adm and possession

SALVOR. In Maritime Law. A person who saves property or rescues it from impending peril on the sea or when wrecked on the coast of the sea, or, in the United States, on a public navigable river or lake where inter state commerce is carried on, and who is under no pre-existing contract or obligation of duty by his relation to the property to render such services. 1 Hagg. Adm. 236; Williamson v. The Alphonso, 1 Curt. C. C. 378, Fed. Cas. No. 17,749.

In general the crew cannot claim as sal vors of their own ship or cargo, they being under a pre-existing obligation of duty to be vigilant to avoid the danger, and when in it to exert themselves to rescue or save the property, in consideration of their wages merely; 1 Hagg. Adm. 236; The Two Cather Ines, 2 Mas. C. C. 319, Fed. Cas. No. 14,288. But if their connection with the ship be dis solved, as by a capture, or the ship or cargo be voluntarily abandoned by order of the master, acne ape revertendi aut recuperandi, such abandonment taking place bona fide and without coercion on their part, and for the purpose of saving life, their contract is put an end to, and they may subsequently be come salvors; 16 Jur. 572; Williams v. Suf folk Ins. Co., 3 Sumn. 270, Fed. Cas. No. 17, 738; Mason v. The Blaireau, 2 Cra. (U. S.) 240, 2 L. Ed. 266. A passenger ; 3 B. & P. 612, n.; Candee v. Sixty-Eight Bales Cotton, 48 Fed. 479; The Brabo, 33 Fed. 884; a pilot; Hobart v. Drogan, 10 Pet. (U. S.) 108, 9 L. Ed. 363 ; Lloyd's agent; 3 W. Rob. 181; an agent; [1892 Prob. 366; official persons; Le Tigre, 3 Wash. C. C. 567, Fed. Cas. No. 8,281; 1 C. Rob. 46; officers and crews of naval vessels ; Robson v. The Huntress, 2 Wall. Jr. 67, Fed. Cas. No. 11,971; 1 Hagg. Adm. 158; coast guards; Bened. Adm. 300 a; may all become salvors, and, as such, be entitled to salvage for performing services in saving property, when such services are not within or exceed the line of their proper official duties. But it is said that neither crew, pilot, ship's agent, nor public servants can, under ordinary circumstances, be sal vors; Kennedy, Civil Salv. 25; nor can pas sengers ; 2 Hagg. 3.

The fact that a part owner in a salving ship also has an interest in the salved prop erty, will not prevent him from sharing in the salvage ; A Lot of Whalebone, 51 Fed. 916. An incorporated wrecking and salvage company may be granted salvage awards as liberally as natural persons so engaged ; The Kimberley, 40 Fed. 301. Persons rendering salvage service have a lien upon the property saved ; Eads v. The Bacon, Fed. Cas. No. 4, 232 ; Sturtevant v. The George Nicholaus, Fed. Cas. No. 13,578 ; Taylor v. The Cato, Fed. Cas. No. 13,786 ; Central Stock Yard & Transit Co. v. Mears, 89 App. Div. 452, 85 N. Y. Supp. 795; The Sabine, 101 U. S. 384, 25 L. Ed. 982. The service creates a property in the thing saved, not a claim against the owner ; The Carl. Schurz, Fed. Cas. No. 2,

414. In The Resolute, 168 U. S. 437, 18 Sup. Ct. 112, 42 L. Ed. 533, it was held that, where services are rendered by the crew of a wreck ing tug or by a municipal fire department, no lien arises.

The finders of a derelict (that is, a ship or goods at sea abandoned by the master and crew without the hope or intention of returning and resuming the possession) who take actual possession with an intention and with the means of saving it, acquire a right of possession which they can maintain against all the world, even the true owner, and become bound to preserve the property with good faith and bring it to a place of safety for the owner's use. They are not bound to part with the possession until their salvage is paid, or the property is taken into the custody of the law preparatory to the amount of salvage being legally ascertained ; The Amethyst, Daveis, 20, Fed. Cas. No. 330; The Bee, Ware 339,,Fed. Cas. No. 1,219. If they cannot with their own force convey the property to a place of safety without imminent risk of a total or material loss, they cannot, consistently with their obliga tions to the owner, refuse the assistance of other persons proffering their aid, nor ex clude them from rendering it under the pre text that they are the finders and have thus gained the right to the exclusive possession. But if third persons unjustifiably intrude themselves, their services will inure to the benefit of the original salvors ; 1 Dods. 414 ; 3 Hagg. Adm. 156; Ole. 77. See SALVAGE.

If a first set of salvors fall into distress, and are assisted by a second or third set, the first or second do not lose their claim to salvage, unless they voluntarily and with out fraud or coercion abandon the enterprise, but they all share together according to their respective merits; The Henry Ewbank, 1 Sumn. 400, Fed. Cas. No. 6,376; 1 W. Rob. 406 ; 2 id. 70. When a vessel stands by and renders services to another, upon request, even though no benefit result from her do ing so, she is entitled to salvage ; 8 Asp. Mar. L. Cas. 263. In cases of ships stranded or in distress, not derelicts, salvors do not acquire an exclusive possession as against the owner, the master, or his agent. While the master continues on board, he is entitled to retain the command and control of the ship and cargo and to direct the labor. The salvors are assistants and laborers under him ; and they have no right to prevent other persons from rendering assistance, if the master wishes such aid; 3 Hagg. Adm. 383 ; 2 W. Rob. 307 ; 2 E. L. & E. 551. When the ship has been relieved from its peril, salvors for feit no right and impair no remedy by leav ing the ship ; 1 Hagg. Adm. 156 ; Eads v. The Bacon, 1 Newb. 275, Fed. Cas. No. 4,232. Their remedy to recover salvage is by libel or suit in the district court of the United States.