On-the-water breakdowns, running aground or other mishaps can ruin a day of boating or fishing fun. But when the towboat arrives on the scene, do you know if the service is a "tow" or a "salvage" job?
If you’re ever in doubt, the safest bet is to ask the towboat crew. That’s because there could be a big difference in the cost of each service, and it also determines who pays the bill, according to BoatUS.
While there is sometimes a fine line between the towing and salvage, there are a few clear indicators that point to each.
"Salvage requires the existence of ‘peril’ to the distressed vessel or persons aboard, or peril to the rescue boat and its crew, or the marine environment," said Vice President of BoatUS Towing Services Adam Wheeler.
Historically and legally, salvage is any voluntary and successful rescue of a boat, its cargo, and/or passengers from peril at sea. Today that definition includes the successful avoidance of damage to a legally protected marine environment.