I admit to not being a regular contributer to CruiserLog but, for the most part, I hover in the background soaking up much valuable information posted on these boards. I also admit to checking out other boards too in an effort to increase my cruising knowldege. On one of the boards I frequently visit there was recently a question concerning towage which, in my opinion, did not get a full and comprehensive answer. Í will reproduce the essentials of the question here as I expect, from past experience, the knowledge base of CruiserLog to be very comprehensive and that one or more CL contributor can give a full answér to the question.
The original post questioned whether or not it would be advisable to have aboard a towing contract and a summary of international maritime law. The queestion was asked as a result of an annecdotal cáse where a becalmed cruiser lost her engine about 20NM from land (air in the fuel system), and attracted the attention of a passing fishermen. The fisherman towed the cruiser to the nearest harbour but put in a salvage claim for several thousand euros ... as if the boat had been abandoned and they could claim a percentage of the total boat value i.e. like in a wreckage case !
The young skipper may have been a bit naive, but would it be helpful to have on board:
- a summary of international maritime law in english and in this case
- a simple (say one page max) contract / towing agreement where for instance the service charge could be mentioned.
These are interesting questions and the other forum came up with a few answers but these were not, in my opinion. good enough to clearly explain the legal situation. Does anyone here have a full, comprehensive and, hopefully, clear answer to these simple but important questions?