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Friday, January 1, 2010

Interesting Marine news from Globe - Salvage of Horses

The founding principle of insurance is to indemnify i.e., make good the losses suffered by the insured (the policy holder). In property insurance there could only be loss or damage – either total or partial in nature. Marine insurance is deep and very interesting. Here we call losses as average – thus particular average is partial loss. There can also be Total loss. Again, the TL could be ATL (Actual Total Loss), CTL (Constructive Total Loss), Loss of Specie et al. Do you wonder how can there by anything constructive about a loss that too total in nature. The Marine Policy (especially the one covering goods transported by Sea on ICC A/B/C terms) extends coverage in respect of expenses which the cargo owner is to make good, though his own property is not at all damaged. This is known as General Average, which could be a sacrifice or expenditure in nature. Then the Marine Policy also pays expenses – sometimes over and above the sum insured also. Some of these are : Sue and Labour charges, Particular charges, Salvage charges.

Generally, whenever there are damages, the damaged material would in its condition fetch some value and this is known as ‘ salvage ‘ in insurance parlance. Quite often terms can have more meaning attached, just as you would have started wondering how complicated or difficult to fathom Marine insurance is. The purpose of my piece is not to bemuse but to enlighten on some very interesting recent occurrence.

In marine, Salvage charges are remuneration payable to Third party who independently of any contract render services to any vessel carrying cargo at distress at sea, generally on ‘no cure no pay’ basis. At sea situation could be disastrous, and it would require more than a herculean effort to get a semblance of order. Here are some photos of losses.

This is no act of salvage but scavenging – a quick steal of whatever somebody could lay hands on and such acts has no frontiers nor economical patterns.

There are Companies with professed expertise who have done great service in retrieval, pulling the vessel to safety and refloating the damaged vessel thereby saving billions of value. Whilst those would be of interest only to those who have any interest in them in the nature of ownership, trade or by insuring, certain things which are of interest to every body do crop up now and then.

Transportation of animals from country to country is nothing new and it offers great challenges to the transportation industry in various ways.

Recently in the coast of Portugal, a 454-gross ton cargo vessel in transit to Ponta Delgado ran aground only 10 nautical miles from her destination. The vessel had some sensitive cargo which was special horses. Ace salvors, Titan were awarded a LOF contract rescue the ship alongwith cargo. An international team of specialists and two chartered planes descended on the scene. The rescue operation was complex because the only way to get equipment onboard the ship was with tugboats, which had to get near the vessel amidst heavy winds and rough seas. Despite the harsh conditions, the horses were safely removed and taken safely to a local equestrian center. The team also discharged 59 containers and 260 tons of heavy fuel oil.  With the help of two local tugs and ITC tug Mistral, the cargo vessel was successfully refloated from the rocky shores and safely delivered to the Port of Ponta Delgado, less than 2 weeks after the intiial grounding.

The salvors - TITAN, is a worldwide marine salvage and wreck removal company based in Pompano Beach, Fla., that has performed over 350 salvage and wreck removal projects since 1980, including some of the most technically demanding projects ever undertaken.

As usual look forward to  your feedback

With regards – S Sampathkumar.

(Photo courtesy : Gcaptain, Cargolaw, Tricolor rescue and other webs)


  1. Dear Sampath, a very interesting read. The first question that would arise in my mind is why GA was not declared as this is a classic case of expenditure intentionally incurred for the common safety of property involved in the maritime adventure.

  2. Dear
    Not sure whether GA was declared. Salvage charges would also come within its purview. At times, salvors would prefer the guarantee to be executed only by parties with Office in London and that of Indian Insurers are not accepted.
    Regards - Sampathkumar

  3. why do you find marine insurance interesting?

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