The Swedish Club launched a guide by Caglar Coskunsu at Cavus & Coskunsu Law Firm about salvage claims in Turkish Straits, in order to understand the claims in Turkish Straits, how the system is operated and who the salvors are should be known.
The Club comments that “we have seen several salvage claims being raised against vessels sailing through the Turkish Straits. Each claim has been in the region of USD 1 million. The salvages were not a result of the vessels losing manoeuvrability, but tugs were connected because the vessels’ speed over ground dropped below 4 knots.”
- There is a monopoly right for salvage services in Turkish Straits and Marmara Sea
- This monopoly right is granted to a state-owned organization called Kiyi Emniyeti Mudurlugu (The Directorate General of Coastal Safety)
- This Kiyi Emniyeti Genel Mudurlugu (The Directorate General of Coastal Safety) is not just salvors but also give other services including pilotage and Vessel Traffic Services in Turkish Straits.
In addition, the report includes guidance for masters and owners in case of engine breakdown. Specifically:
- A good preparation of the engine is necessary before entering Turkish Straits
- If the manoeuvring speed is close to 4 knots, extra caution is necessary and even special passage which is imposed for vessels whose speed is less than 4 knots, should be considered to avoid salvage claims.
- In Turkish Straits, the pilot and the VTS operator are not the master’s friend. In contrary, they are officers of Kiyi Emniyeti Genel Mudurlugu (the Directorate General of Coastal Safety) therefore the recommendations of the pilot and the VTS to accept assistance from the tugs should be approached cautiously. The master should assess whether the vessel is in danger or not. If there is no danger no assistance from the tugs should be accepted.
- The master will be pressed by the pilot and the VTS not to drop anchor and the master will be said that it is prohibited to drop anchor. However, if the surrounding circumstances do not cause any danger for dropping anchor, the master may consider it. The consequences will be an administrative fine.
- If there is a danger the master may always ask for salvage assistance and the tugs of Kiyi Emniyeti Genel Mudurlugu (the Directorate General of Coastal Safety) will be available to assist in minutes.
- If there is a pilot on board, the master should keep the VDR records in mind and if the master thinks there is no danger it should be stated to the pilot or the VTS.
- Turks 2015 Salvage Agreement should not be signed by the master.
To learn more click on the report herebelow