The Queens Regulations and the Admiralty Instructions - 1861
(Vide also Act 17th and 18th Vict., chap. 104, Part VIII.)
All Officers in command of Her Majesty's Ships are to afford every possible aid to Vessels in danger, distress, or in want of casual assistance.
When such services have been rendered, the commanding Officer of the Ship is to forward a full report of the circumstances of the case, with a copy of the Ship's Log, to the Commander-in-chief, or senior Officer of the station, for transmission to the Admiralty; and before any Officer in the Navy can raise a claim for Salvage, he must obtain the written approval of the Commander-in-chief, or senior Officer of the station, which approval will not be given unless really important service, or service accompanied with hazard, has been rendered; and no Court of Law, or Admiralty Court, can decide upon any salvage claim made by Officers or men belonging to Her Majesty's Ships without the consent of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.
In order to prevent needless detention of the Ships or property saved in foreign and distant places, and at the same time to ensure due satisfaction of the claims of the salvors, the lien of the salvors upon the ship, cargo, or property, as the case may be, is to cease upon proper security being given: - the practice on this head is to be as follows: -
If the Captain, Officers or Crew of any of Her Majesty's Ships shall render salvage service to a Merchant Ship at any place out of the United Kingdom, and the four seas adjoining thereto, then, unless the parties can agree between themselves, in manner mentioned in Article 6, the Salvor must, instead of retaining possession until the claim is settled, take the ship to some foreign port where there is a Consul, or to some British port where there is a Vice-Admiralty Judge; and, in so doing, the Salvor is, so far as his primary duty to the Queen's service permits, to be guided by the convenience of the Ship saved. Within twenty-four hours after arriving at such port, the Salvor, and the person in charge of the property alleged to be saved, are each to deliver to the Consular Officer or Vice-Admiralty Judge there, a statement, verified on oath, so far as they respectively can, and so far as the particulars required apply to the case:-
|i.||The place, condition, and circumstances in which the said ship, cargo, or property was at the time when the services were rendered for which salvage is claimed:|
|ii.||The nature and duration of the services rendered:|
|And the salvor shall add to his statement-|
|iii.||The proportion of the value of the said ship, cargo, and property, and of the freight which he claims for salvage, or the values at which he estimates the said ship, freight, cargo, and property respectively, and the several amounts that he claims for salvage in respect of the same:|
|iv.||Any other circumstances he thinks relevant to the laid claim:|
|And the said master or other person in charge of the said ship, cargo, or property shall add to his statement-|
|iii.||A copy of the certificate of registry of the said ship, and of the indorsements thereon, stating any change which (to his knowledge or belief) has occurred in the particulars contained in such certificate; and stating also, to the best of his knowledge and belief, the state of the title to the ship for the time being, and of the incumbrances and certificates of mortgage or sale, if any, affecting the same, and the names and places of business of the owners and incumbrancers:|
|iv.||The name and place of business or residence of the freighter (if any) of the said ship, and the freight to be paid for the voyage she is then on:|
|v.||A general account of the quantity and nature of the cargo at the time the salvage services were rendered:|
|vi.||The name and place of business or residence of the owner of such cargo and of the consignee thereof:|
|vii.||The values at which the said Master estimates the said ship, cargo, and property, and the freight respectively, or if he thinks fit, in lieu of such estimated value of the cargo, a copy of the ship's manifest:|
|viii.||The amounts which the Master thinks should be paid as salvage for the services rendered:|
|ix.||An accurate list of the property saved, in cases where the ship is not saved:|
|x.||An account of the proceeds of the sale of the said ship, cargo, or property, in cases where the same or any of them are sold at such port aforesaid:|
|xi.||The number, capacities, and condition of the crew of the said ship at the time the said services were rendered:|
|xii.||Any other circumstances he thinks relevant to the matters in question:|
|xiii.||A statement of his willingness to execute a bond, in the form in the table marked W. in the schedule of the Act 17th and 18th Vict, chapter 104, in such amount as the said Consular Officer or Vice-Admiralty Judge shall fix.|
If the parties are unable to give all the above particulars, the reason for omitting any of them should be stated.
Upon receiving these statements, the Consul or Vice-Admiralty Judge will proceed to fix what he considers an adequate sum to compensate the Salvors for the services rendered, and to cover any additional claim for costs. In doing this, he will remember that the claim will have to be decided by the Court to which the matter is referred after the consent of the Admiralty shall have been obtained, and that, in the case of a British Ship, the only security required is a bond by the Master. In that case, therefore, he will fix a sum which will cover the claim actually made by the Salvor, with an additional sum of about £150 for costs. With regard to a foreign ship, where sureties are required, it is important that the amount secured should not be excessive, and the Consul will therefore, in that case, have to exercise greater discretion.
If either party fails to make his statement, the Consul or Vice-Admiralty Judge may proceed ex parte, but he should not, except in a pressing case, do so without giving notice; and if the Ship or property saved is to be sold, he should allow a reasonable time for the purpose of giving the particulars of the sale. He has no power in any case to require the cargo to be unladen.
If the Consul, or Vice-Admiralty Judge, requires additional information, he may examine the parties or witnesses upon oath, and in such case the evidence is to be taken in writing, and to be attached to, or accompany, the statements.
In fixing the amount for which security is to be given in the case of a foreign ship, the Consul, or Vice-Admiralty Judge, will approximate as nearly as he can to what he considers sufficient compensation for the services rendered; and he will be guided, so far as he has the means and knowledge, by the rules which ordinarily guide Admiralty Courts in such cases, adding to the amount £150, or thereabouts, to cover costs. He will remember that the bond being substituted for the property by way of security for the claim, the amount should be large enough to cover it, - on the other hand, he will bear in mind that no claim can ever be made to exceed one-half of what he considers to be the true value of the property saved.
When the Consul, or Vice-Admiralty Judge has determined the amount, he will give notice to the parties, and will cause a bond to be prepared in the form marked W in the schedule to the Act referred to, and will see that it is properly filled up with the particulars as given to him, and with the sum which he has determined. If the parties wish that the case should be adjudicated on in any Vice-Admiralty Court in the British dominions, the name of the Court, and the place for which it acts, is to be inserted in the bond. If not, the High Court of Admiralty in England will be the Court to adjudicate upon it. This bond must be executed by the Master in the presence of the Consul or Vice-Admiralty Judge, and must be attested by him. The Consul or Vice-Admiralty Judge will then deliver it to the Salvor, and thereupon the lien of the Salvor on the property will cease, and his remedy will be upon the bond.
If, however, the ship or property saved is owned by persons who reside in any foreign country, such additional security must be given as the Consul or Vice-Admiralty Judge may approve; for this purpose, it will be his duty to see that the persons giving the security are solvent persons, and that the security is one which is capable of being enforced in a British Court of justice. When duly executed and attested, it must be given to the Consul or Vice-Admiralty Judge, or, if the Salvor so desires, it must be placed in the joint possession of the Consul, of the Vice-Admiralty Judge, and of any other person whom the Salvor may appoint for the purpose, to be afterwards dealt with as the Court which shall adjudicate upon it may direct.
If the Salvor and the Master of the ship saved can agree between themselves, they may, without going before a Consul or Vice-Admiralty Judge, enter into an agreement, which will have the same effect as the bond before mentioned. This is a course which will be found very desirable to take where the destination of the ship of war, and of the ship saved, are such that they cannot proceed to a place where there is a Consul, or a Vice-Admiralty Judge, without inconvenience to one or both. Where such an agreement is made, care should be taken to attend to the following points:-
|i.||The agreement must be in writing, and must be signed by the Salvor and the Master of the Merchant Ship, and must be attested by two witnesses.|
|ii.||The sum inserted must depend on circumstances; it should in no case exceed one-half the value of the property saved. £150 should be added to cover costs.|
|iii.||The agreement should be accompanied by statements signed by the Salvor and Master respectively, similar to those given to a Consul or Vice-Admiralty Judge, except that they need not be on oath.|
|iv.||The agreement and statements should be sent as soon as possible to the Court which has to decide on the case.|
The following form may be used for the agreement referred to:-
|Whereas certain Salvage services are alleged to have been rendered by Her Majesty's Ship (insert names of Ship and of Captain) Captain, to the Merchant Ship (insert names of Ship and of Master) Master, belonging to (name and place of business or residence of owner of Ship) freighted by (the name of the Freighter), and to the cargo therein, consisting of (state very shortly the descriptions and quantities of the goods, and the names and addresses of their owners and assignees).|
|And whereas the said (insert name of Captain of Ship) has voluntarily agreed to abandon his lien upon the said Ship (insert name of Merchant Ship) and the cargo thereof, upon the Master of the said last mentioned Ship entering into such agreement as hereinafter contained, as is testified by the said (insert name of Captain) signing this agreement, and he has fixed the amount to be inserted in this bond at the sum of (state the sum).|
|Now I, the said (name of Master), do hereby, in pursuance of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1854, and in consideration of the premises, bind the several owners for the time being of the said ship and of the cargo therein, and of the freight payable in respect of such cargo, and their respective heirs, executors, and administrators, to pay among them such sum not exceeding the said sum of (state the sum fixed) in such proportions and to such persons as (if the parties agree in any other Court, substitute the name of it here) the High Court of Admiralty in England shall adjudge to be payable as Salvage for the services so alleged to have been rendered as aforesaid.|
|In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands, this ________________day of_______________18 ___.|
|Signed by the said||(Captain's Signature).|
|In the presence of us,________________________________
|Signatures and full|
(N.B. - Any of the particulars not known, or not required by reason of the claim being only against the, cargo, etc., may be omitted.)
The Salvor, in making the report required by Article 1, must state whether a Bond or Agreement has been given as above-mentioned, and whether the Ship or property saved has been released in consequence.
In cases were relays of men are sent for the purpose of affording assistance, and where a large portion of the crew have been employed, the Salvage which may be awarded, is to be distributed according to the provisions of the Prize Proclamation in force at the time, unless specially apportioned by the terms of any decree or award, or otherwise to be divided among the parties actually employed as the Admiralty may direct.
All Officers are to use their best efforts to save and protect property and stores, especially those belonging to the Crown, which may be on board any Vessel placed in circumstances of danger or distress; and, if necessary, to remove such stores to a place of safety.
No claim for salvage services is to be made in respect of loss or risk of Her Majesty's Ships, or for the use of any stores or other articles belonging to Her Majesty supplied in and to effect such services, or for any other expense or loss sustained by Her Majesty by reason thereof. Neither is any claim to be made by Officers or others in Her Majesty's Service on account of property salved belonging to the Crown.
If any Stores, lost from one of Her Majesty's Ships, shall be brought on board, and the Captain shall be satisfied that the person who brings them did not obtain them by improper means, he is to give him a receipt for them, in which the description, quantity, and condition of the stores, and the service for which they may be fit, which is to be determined on by the Officers best qualified to judge, are to be specified, that a correct estimate may be formed of their value, and of the proper amount of Salvage to be paid for their recovery. In such receipt it is to be mentioned, also, whether the parties claiming Salvage were assisted by part of the crew of any one of Her Majesty's Ships, and on what account the latter were not able to recover the articles.
A duplicate copy of the receipt, together with a report of survey on the articles recovered, with full particulars relative to the same, are to be forwarded by the Captain, through his Commander-in-chief, to the Secretary of the Admiralty.