FIGURE J-4. Salvage Tug.
base; or it could be a seasonal location such as the North Sea in winter or the Cape of Good Hope during the Southern
Hemisphere's winter. Work was contracted on the well-understood "Lloyds Open Form- No Cure-No Pay," and usually
went to the first tug to arrive. Several factors have led to the decline of the traditional "fire-house" nature of the salvage
and towing business. To list a few:
Improved navigational aids resulted in fewer casualties.
The advent of large offshore oil structures and VLCC and ULCC tankers required construction of large, very
powerful and expensive salvage tugs.
Increased ship size resulted in fewer ships to potentially suffer casualties. Further, since fewer ships were
operating, marginal operators and crews gradually were forced out
Crew demands for improved habitability, working conditions and wages.
The worldwide reduction in oil consumption caused a reduction in shipping and, therefore, casualties, in the
Owners of casualties tended to avoid the "no cure-no pay" contract in favor of more price competitive bidding.
This placed the traditional salvage tug operator at a disadvantage because of his higher equipment, labor and
Consequently, tug owners sought routine, long- distance towing tasks to keep their expensive assets at work Others laid
up their ships or went out of business. Thus, except for unique circumstances such as the Persian/Arabian Gulf during
the 1980s, the traditional salvage stations, with professional salvors staffing the best salvage tugs, have largely
disappeared. Those that remain largely are subsidized by governments.