Pilotage

Where the ship puts into a port of refuge to repair damage done by a general average sacrifice, the cost of repairing the ship together with incidental expenses is the subject of general average. Such incidental costs would include warehousing, reloading of cargo if it had to be unloaded to effect the repairs and expenses incurred for pilotage. Where a general average loss has occurred on a voyage the shipowner or master has the right to retain the cargo until he is paid or tendered the amount due on it for general average. He must take all reasonable precautions to protect the interest of persons entitled to a general average contribution either by obtaining deposits in cash or suitable bonds and guarantees. The shipowner, cargo owner and persons entitled to freight can sue for general average contribution. The shipowner, charterer, cargo owner and a consignee of cargo are liable for general average contributions. The amount to be contributed in general average is adjusted when the voyage is terminated by the delivery of the goods or otherwise and is governed by the law of the place of delivery. If after the shipowner has incurred general average expenditure at a port of refuge both ship and cargo are lost while completing the voyage the shipowner cannot claim from the owners of the cargo. Salvage is a legal liability arising out of the fact that property has been saved and that the owner of the property, who has had the benefit of the property being saved, should make remuneration to those who have conferred the benefit upon him. The right to salvage may, but does not necessarily, arise out of an actual contract. It is somewhat misleading to refer to ‘salvage contracts’. That would imply being exclusively in the ‘world’ of the law of contract. This is not so. The law of salvage is really dealing with ‘salvage agreements’. The reward does not spring from an express or implied contractual obligation because many salvors will in fact be ‘volunteers’ i.e. not within a contractual relationship with the person whose property is rescued.