586-783-7700 or VHF 16 sherry@towboatuslakestclair.com


What is Salvage?


Salvage refers to any emergency boating situation which requires the rescue of a boat from peril or danger including hard groundings and sinking.
  • Our salvage masters use soft rigging and air liftbags to prevent any unnecessary damage to vessels. Cranes and other heavy machinery are utilized when needed along with other salvage techniques. St Clair Marine Salvage has portable salvage and dive equipment ready 24 hours a day to assist those in need.
  • Marine salvage services from St Clair Marine Salvage are guided by a salvage contract which is separate from the tow services provided by BoatUS. Salvage is typically covered under a marine insurance “protection and indemnity” policy that specifically provides coverage for salvage. 
  • St Clair Marine Salvage will assist you throughout the entire emergency. Giving advice and dealing directly with your insurance company. Once arrangements are made with your insurance company with direct billing we handle the rest of the details for you.

Salvage is a word that can scare even a captain of a ship, however with St. Clair Marine Salvage we make rescue and recovery of your ship and cargo a breeze. Marine salvage is the process of rescuing a ship, its cargo and sometimes the crew from peril. Salvage encompasses rescue towing, refloating a grounded ship or patching or repairing a ship. Today the protection of the environment from cargoes such as oil is often considered a higher priority than saving the ship or cargo. There are two types of salvage: contract salvage and pure salvage.




CONTRACT SALVAGE Occurs when a contract is made prior to the commencement of salvage operations, the amount of compensation is fixed and the salvor is paid regardless of whether the salvage is successful or not. Pricing on contract salvage starts at $300 per foot.

PURE SALVAGE Occurs when a ship or boat has been rescued or salvaged without prior agreement between the owner and salvor or an agreement is made but not for a fixed amount.

GROUNDINGS – Fees are based on the criteria in the SALCON 89* [International Convention on Salvage 1989]**Salvage awards are based on a 10 point system**The more points that are met the more the award

SINKING – Also based on the 10 point system of the 1989 SALCON Convention. Emergency hoist fees are at an additional cost.

TIME AND MATERIALS – Time and Materials

Crew, Equipment and Vessel Pricing:

Work boats range from $800 – $1500 per hour

Equipment Trailer: $1500 per hour

Divers: up to $1200 per hour

Crew: $250 per hour

USCG Licensed Captains : $500 per hour

Lift bags: $500 per hour

Dewatering pumps: $500 per hour

Engine Preservation: $750.00 *Not to a full start*

Engine Preservation: $1200 *Full start*

STORAGE FEES – $4.00 per ft. per day for salvaged boats until salvage bills are paid in full.  *Note: SALCON is an Act passed by Congress in 1996 adapting the International Salvage Convention Laws. The 10 points are identified in Chapter III, Article 13, Section 1.   The text of this convention can be found online by clicking on the link below.