Authorities

It should be noted that the salvors had argued that to follow the normal rule was in the exceptional circumstances of this case, unfair. The judge did not consider, however, that the shipowners should be penalised merely because the salvors had failed to secure their position, not because the cargo owners had not yet paid for the services rendered to their property. For the first time, cargo owners advanced a claim for salvage in the case of The Sava Star (1995). The plaintiffs were the owners of 2951 tons of complex fertiliser NPK in bulk which was being carried on board the vessel Sava Star. The cargo was found to be decomposing on board the vessel, and the plaintiff initiated a crisis plan which included contacting the Humberside Fire Brigade, arranging a helicopter overflight to make an inspection, constructing fire lances and providing chemists. The plaintiffs’ general manager also assisted the salvage contractors, which led to a successful salvage. The contractors, who were engaged on the LOF 90 Form, were awarded a salvage reward before the salvage arbitrator but the plaintiffs brought a separate claim in the High Court for salvage. Held: on the authorities, a shipowner was not entitled to claim salvage against himself where ship and cargo were salved by a vessel under the same ownership as the salved ship, the master and crew of the salving ship were entitled to salvage against the owners of the salved ship and the owners of her cargo; and in such a case the shipowners were entitled to salvage against the owners of the cargo on the salved ship unless the casualty was caused by an actionable breach of contract on the part of the plaintiffs, in which case (subject to the possible effect of limitation of liability) the claim failed for circuity of action; the fact that the salving and the salved ships were in common ownership or common management was relevant to the quantum of the salvage award. The Court should encourage, not discourage, sister-ship salvage in an appropriate case.