Salvage

There remained considerable pressure for reform of the law so as: To include within the meaning of salvage the prevention of damage to third parties (the concept of ‘liability salvage’) and, to improve the remuneration payable to salvors by taking into account their conduct in preventing such damage. This was achieved to some extent by the new Convention on Salvage, which goes considerably further than the LOF 80 in displacing the traditional ‘no cure – no pay’ rule. LOF 90 was introduced following the International Convention of Salvage 1989 (see below) and incorporated some of the changes brought in by the 1989 Convention (which is now part of U.K. law by reason of the Merchant Shipping (Salvage and Pollution) Act 1994, mainly those relating to the provision for special compensation. The intention of the LOF 90 was to bring into effect immediately the provisions of the 1989 Convention which significantly expanded the ‘safety net’ concept. The duty upon the salvor under the LOF 80 to use his best endeavours to prevent the escape of oil is widened by LOF 90 so as to prevent or minimize damage to the environment. It was basically still ‘no cure – no pay’, apart from the special compensation. Under clause 1 (a) (ii) the salvor (contractor) undertook an obligation to use his best endeavours (while performing the salvage services) to prevent or minimize damage to the environment. The LOF 90 reflected the 1989 Convention, as it allowed salvage operations in navigable waters or in any other waters whatsoever so that a salvage award was obtainable for operations in non-tidal waters (contrast the case of The Goring (1986)). The incorporation of Article 14 of the 1989 Convention into the LOF 90 was of paramount importance. If the salvor has carried out salvage operations in respect of a vessel which by itself or its cargo threatened damage to the environment and has failed to earn a reward under Article 13 at least equivalent to the special compensation assessable in accordance with this Article, he shall be entitled to special compensation from the owner of that vessel equivalent to his expenses as herein defined.