Peril at Sea and Salvage: A Guide for Masters.  Sixth Edition (eBook)

Published Date

October 2020

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Peril at Sea and Salvage: A Guide for Masters. Sixth Edition (eBook)

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This publication is a reference guide for Masters, outlining the actions that should be taken when confronted with an emergency on board: from initial assessment and immediate actions, through to towage or salvage arrangements.

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This guide outlines the actions a Master should take when confronted with an emergency onboard: from the initial assessment and immediate actions, through to towage or salvage arrangements.


It provides guidance on best practice and explains the importance of prompt notification to relevant parties, particularly flag States and the company. A section is included with recommendations for a company’s shore-based personnel.


This sixth edition incorporates the major changes that have taken place in the shipping industry since the last edition was published and supersedes the ICS/OCIMF joint publication Peril at Sea and Salvage: A Guide to Masters, Fifth Edition (1998), which is now withdrawn from sale



Chapter 1: Introduction 

Chapter 2: Initial response 

Chapter 3: Implementing the emergency response plan 

Chapter 4: Updates and follow-up actions 

Chapter 5: Towage and salvage 

Chapter 6: Preparing for an emergency – companies 

A – Lloyd’s Standard Form of Salvage Agreement (Lloyd’s Open Form - LOF) 
B – SCOPIC Clause 
C – Examples of other standard forms of salvage agreement 
      Turkish standard form 
      Japanese standard form 

D – Examples of commercial salvage and towage agreements 
E – Examples of flag State incident reporting forms 
      Example incident reporting form – Singapore 
      Example incident reporting form – Marshall Islands 

F – Useful publications and websites 

The development of regulations governing the safe operation and management of ships, emergency response preparedness and the adoption of a compliance culture have led to a reduction in shipping emergencies and major incidents. But, when they do occur, they often have a high impact and threaten the safety of personnel, ships, the environment and cargo. Many seafarers may never have experienced an emergency on board a ship. While this is a positive for shipping, it also means that seafarers may lack the anticipatory knowledge needed to deal with an emergency.


This Guide takes Masters through the actions to be taken when confronted with an emergency on board. The Guide has been prepared principally with oil tankers and gas carriers in mind, although most of the content will be equally appropriate to other types of ship.


The Guide supersedes the ICS/OCIMF joint publication Peril at Sea and Salvage: A Guide to Masters, Fifth Edition (1998). Since the fifth edition was published, several regulatory changes have helped improve safety on ships and prevent harm to the environment. They have also changed the nature of Masters’ responsibilities by placing a greater emphasis on the company to plan for emergencies at sea.


The International Maritime Organization (IMO) International Safety Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (ISM Code) entered into force in 1998. The Code requires companies to identify potential shipboard emergency situations and establish procedures to ensure they can respond at any time, including a programme of drills and exercises. These requirements have led to fundamental improvements in the response capability of a ship and the company ashore, providing the ship with prompt access to technical support regarding damage stability, the contracting of salvage and other professional assistance offshore and access to external expertise and advice.


The IMO International Convention on Salvage, 1989, which entered into force in 1996, recognised the growing public and political importance of environmental protection and sought to address the disincentive of the traditional ‘no cure, no pay’ salvage arrangements, which had the undesirable effect of discouraging involvement in salvage operations that had a marginal chance of success. These principles are reflected in Lloyd’s Standard Form of Salvage Agreement (Lloyd’s Open Form – LOF) and the industry agreement SCOPIC, which came into effect in 1999, to provide a straightforward alternative to the Convention special compensation incentive scheme.


When an emergency does occur, prompt and decisive actions are necessary to minimise any consequences. The Master should immediately take all appropriate actions to protect the safety of life and to prevent or minimise damage to the ship, environment and cargo. This Guide describes the scope and reasons for many of those actions. The Guide also explains the importance of prompt notification to those onshore most immediately concerned and able to assist, particularly coastal States and the company.


Nothing in this Guide should override the content of any ship’s Safety Management System (SMS). Some examples are given in this Guide, but they are not exhaustive or prescriptive.


The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is the principal international trade association for the shipping industry, representing shipowners and operators in all sectors and trades. ICS membership comprises national shipowners' associations in Asia, Europe and the Americas whose member shipping companies operate over 80% of the world's merchant tonnage.

Established in 1921, ICS is concerned with all technical, legal, employment affairs and policy issues that may affect international shipping.

ICS represents shipowners with the various intergovernmental regulatory bodies that impact on shipping, including the International Maritime Organization.

ICS also develops best practices and guidance, including a wide range of publications and free resources that are used by ship operators globally.


The Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) is a voluntary association of oil companies with an interest in the shipment and terminalling of crude oil, oil products, petrochemicals and gas. OCIMF focuses exclusively on preventing harm to people and the environment by promoting best practice in the design, construction and operation of tankers, barges and offshore vessels and their interfaces with terminals. Learn more at

Title: Peril at Sea and Salvage: A Guide for Masters. Sixth Edition (eBook)
Edition: Sixth
Number of Pages: 90
Product Code: IT103434
ISBN: 9781856099356
Published Date: October 2020
Author: International Chamber of Shipping and Oil Companies International Marine Forum

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