>Salvage Claim by Crew Members

>The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that, while crew members may in limited circumstances assert salvage claims for services rendered which their ship is in distress, the plaintiffs here are not eligible for a salvage award. In the instant case, plaintiff crew members were ashore when their employer asked them to return to a damaged, listing semi-submersible drilling unit in an attempt to prevent it from sinking. Plaintiffs led a team of other crew members who, with assistance from professional salvors, saved the rig. Plaintiffs sued, seeking recovery as pure salvors. The federal district court granted summary judgment in favor of the rig owner and plaintiffs appealed. After reviewing the law of salvage and the application of the International Convention on Salvage, 1989, the appellate court agreed that the crew members were not entitled to a salvage award because it was understood that they would be paid whether or not they were successful. The appellate court remanded the case, though, for a determination as to the appropriate level of compensation that the rig owner owed to the crew members. Solana v. GSF Development Driller I, No. 06-30930 (5th Cir., October 29, 2009).

Source: http://bryantsmaritimeblog.blogspot.com/