Maritime Rescue

AuthorConstantin Anechitoae - Calin Marinescu
PositionLecturer, PhD., Faculty of Law, 'Ovidius' University of Constanta, Romania - PhD in progress, National Institute of Economic Research 'Costin Kiritescu', Romania
European Integration - Realities and Perspectives
Maritime Rescue
Constantin Anechitoae
, Calin Marinescu
Abstract: The maritime rescue, as a ny other legal institution related to maritime events - collision, cras h, etc.
- has its distinctive features. The maritime rescue may be considered as the operation that arises from
maritime collis ion, because, while collision stems from a breach of a negative duty necessary in maritime
navigation, i.e. of not harming the other, the maritime rescue is the implementation of p ositive obligations
required to vessel captains by the material requirements of the mar ine life that adds to the elements of the
legal concept which can be summed up as follows: to go to the a id of a vessel in danger, provided that the
vessel does not expose itself, through this action, to a serious danger. The institution of maritime rescue
encourages maritime commercial activities by the fact that, thus, there are governed such clear rights and
obligations saving life at sea and shipping goods.
Keywords: maritime rescue; sea life; goods
Historically, the aim of rescue rules was to counteract the temptation of the savior to acquire goods
from stranded ships. In modern times, the aim was actually the desire to provide an incentive for the
rescue efforts and, therefore, to maintain property values.
In practice there were used the concepts of “assistance” in order to refer to the help rendered to vessels
in danger, with the purpose of avoiding a more serious accident, and “rescue” in order to consider the
contrary, when the aid is provided under serious conditions or when a first accident has already
occurred. Theoretically, “assistance” means the aid provided to a ship in danger in order to get out
from a situation, and “rescue” – the help rendered to a vessel in danger, which, because it lost its
maneuver ability, cannot cooperate with the opportunity of the aid it receives. We speak of
“assistance” when the help comes in time in order to avoid danger, i.e. before sinking, and of “rescue”
when the act does not occur until after the shipwreck has already begun.
1. Introductory Terms
The rules that apply to salvage are unique in maritime law. There are no similar rules on the land that
would entitle a person which has just saved another person’s property to ask for a generous reward.
The reason is partly historical, but actually another major reason is the actual physical situation. With
the exception of fire, the land does not need such a big help in salvage services.
From the historically point of view, the aim of salvage rules was to counter the temptation of the
wrecker to acquire goods from vessels that ran ashore. In modern times, the goal is actually a desire to
provide an incentive for the efforts made in order to save and, therefore, to maintain property values.
Lecturer, PhD., Faculty of Law, „ Ovidius” University of Constanta, Romania, Address: 1 Universitatii Alley, Constanta,
Romania. Tel.: +40241694330, Fax: +40241511512. Corresponding author:
PhD in progress, National Institute of Economic Research “Costin Kir iescu”, Romania, House of Romanian Academy,
Calea 13 Septembrie, Bucharest, Romania,. Tel.: +40318.81.06. E-mail:

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