|1.||the act, process, or business of rescuing vessels or their cargoes from loss at sea|
|2.||a. the act of saving any goods or property in danger of damage or destruction|
|b. (as modifier): a salvage operation|
|3.||the goods or property so saved|
|4.||compensation paid for the salvage of a vessel or its cargo|
|5.||the proceeds from the sale of salvaged goods or property|
|6.||to save or rescue (goods or property) from fire, shipwreck, etc|
|7.||to gain (something beneficial) from a failure: she salvaged little from the broken marriage|
|[C17: from Old French, from Medieval Latin salvāgium, from salvāre to |
in maritime law, the rescue of a ship or its cargo on navigable waters from a peril that, except for the rescuer's assistance, would have led to the loss or destruction of the property. Under some jurisdictions, aircraft may also be salved. Except for salvage performed under contract, the rescuer-known as the salvor-must act voluntarily without being under any legal duty to do so, apart from the general duty to give assistance to those in peril at sea or to stand by after a collision. So long as the owner or his agent remains on the ship, unwanted offers of salvage may be refused. A derelict-a vessel found entirely deserted or abandoned without hope or intention of recovery-is, however, fair game for anyone who comes across it. Typical acts of salvage include releasing ships that have run aground or on reefs, raising sunken ships (or their cargo), putting out fires, and so on.
Learn more about salvage with a free trial on Britannica.com.