A surveyor's involvement in matters of salvage normally results from appointments by Hull and Machinery Insurers, but may also include P&I Clubs. A surveyor makes recommendations regarding feasibility of salvage and advises owners and insurers regarding the suitability of the salvor's preferred services.

It is often imperative to establish the extent of the damage to a vessel and to relate this to market and insured values. This ensures that after salvage the vessel is not found to be a constructive total loss and that the underwriters have not exposed themselves to the cost of salvage in addition to the sum insured. Following salvage, it is necessary to establish the salved value of the vessel and to conduct further damage and condition surveys. In many cases, the surveyor may supervise the salvoes but, if a Lloyd's open form has been signed and professional salvor’s are involved, their role is more related to recording events during the salvage and compiling a comprehensive report which may be used as reference during the salvage award arbitration proceedings.


Insurers of a tow normally request a surveyor to provide a towage approval certificate in which all aspects of the tug, towing arrangements and the condition of the tow are appraised. The surveyor must consider all aspects of the voyage including intermediate bunker ports, weather en route, alternative ports of refuge and crewing, as well as the vessel's condition and towing arrangements. If the arrangements for the voyage satisfy the surveyor a report and a towage approval certificate will be issued.

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