View Full Version : Funny Stuff This boat be mine, matey. Argh.

Fire Me Boy!
03-17-2010, 03:40 PM

BIMINI, BAHAMAS (WCSC) - What's 50 feet long, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and was taking on water off the Florida coast?

If a group of College of Charleston students and their lawyer have any say, it might just be the biggest payday in a group of students' young lives.

While on a return voyage from the Bahamas during Spring Break, a group of eight CofC students witnessed a maritime mistake like nothing they had ever seen before.

"This massive 50-foot yacht was just cruising along. Then all of the sudden, they run it straight into a sandbar," said CofC senior John Capelle. "They were just rocking back and forth."

The group of students, all skilled sailors in their own right, sprang into action, keeping in mind the ages-old adage of the sea to always help a fellow sailor in trouble. They radioed the captain of the sinking vessel to ask how to help.

"He said, "Mayday, mayday, mayday,'" said Mike Illig, a CofC student and ownder of Avid Angling Fishing Charters.

The crew on board the yacht had deployed a life raft and were jumping to safety, said Innig.

Please visit the link for the rest of the story and a slideshow...

03-17-2010, 05:26 PM
sounds like its their boat... the capt has to know the rules/law about salvage... sux to be them i reckon.by them, i mean the rescued crew

Rain Man
03-17-2010, 07:45 PM
This is one of those instances where ethics and the law collide. I think it's pretty tacky of the students to try to take the boat. If they had the skill to save it, that's great. It's the owner's boat and he should give them a reward for saving his boat.

I admit that I've never lived within 500 miles of an ocean, though. Is the law they're citing commonly known, or are they playing off a technicality?

Rain Man
03-17-2010, 07:50 PM
Geez, I'm looking at the pictures and the boat is like 12 feet off the shore. You could wade out to it. I don't think it's even possible for it to sink.

03-17-2010, 07:53 PM
From Wikipedia -

Salvage and treasure salvage
See also: Marine salvage
When property is lost at sea and rescued by another, the rescuer is entitled to claim a salvage award on the salved property. There is no "life salvage." All mariners have a duty to save the lives of others in peril without expectation of reward. Consequently salvage law applies only to the saving of property.

There are two types of salvage: contract salvage and pure salvage, which is sometimes referred to as "merit salvage." In contract salvage the owner of the property and salvor enter into a salvage contract prior to the commencement of salvage operations and the amount that the salvor is paid is determined by the contract. The most common salvage contract is called a "Lloyds Open Form Salvage Contract."

In pure salvage, there is no contract between the owner of the goods and the salvor. The relationship is one which is implied by law. The salvor of property under pure salvage must bring his claim for salvage in federal court, which will award salvage based upon the "merit" of the service and the value of the salvaged property.

Pure salvage claims are divided into "high-order" and "low-order" salvage. In high-order salvage, the salvor exposes himself and his crew to the risk of injury and loss or damage to his equipment in order to salvage the damaged ship. Examples of high-order salvage are boarding a sinking ship in heavy weather, boarding a ship which is on fire, raising a ship or boat which has already sunk, or towing a ship which is in the surf away from the shore. Low-order salvage occurs where the salvor is exposed to little or no personal risk. Examples of low-order salvage include towing another vessel in calm seas, supplying a vessel with fuel, or pulling a vessel off a sand bar. Salvors performing high order salvage receive substantially greater salvage award than those performing low order salvage.

In both high-order and low-order salvage the amount of the salvage award is based first upon the value of the property saved. If nothing is saved, or if additional damage is done, there will be no award. The other factors to be considered are the skills of the salvor, the peril to which the salvaged property was exposed, the value of the property which was risked in effecting the salvage, the amount of time and money expended in the salvage operation etc.

A pure or merit salvage award will seldom exceed 50 percent of the value of the property salved. The exception to that rule is in the case of treasure salvage. Because sunken treasure has generally been lost for hundreds of years, while the original owner (or insurer, if the vessel was insured) continues to have an interest in it, the salvor or finder will generally get the majority of the value of the property. While sunken ships from the Spanish Main (such as Nuestra Seņora de Atocha in the Florida Keys) are the most commonly thought of type of treasure salvage, other types of ships including German submarines from World War II which can hold valuable historical artifacts, American Civil War ships (the USS Maple Leaf in the St. Johns River, and the CSS Virginia in Chesapeake Bay), and sunken merchant ships (the SS Central America off Cape Hatteras) have all been the subject of treasure salvage awards.[citation needed] Due to refinements in side-scanning sonars, many ships which were previously missing are now being located and treasure salvage is now a less risky endeavor than it was in the past, although it is still highly speculative.

03-17-2010, 07:54 PM
To the yacht!