Sunday, September 14, 2008

Maritime Book Review 2 - "Salvage - A Personal Odyssey"

For my second book review I chose one that I have recently finished reading, although due to several ongoing projects, took me considerably more time doing it than it was anticipated. “Salvage, A Personal Odyssey” by Captain Ian Tew, is a fascinating account of several impressive salvage and towage operations conducted by him during the time he worked for Singapore based salvage company Selco.


Throughout the book different grasping stories take us immediately to the sea, aboard one of the salvage tugs, with Captain Tew in command. His writing style will certainly be recognized by a professional mariner, such is the attention to details such as the weather conditions and the accurate timing of events that others would consider superfluous.

The salvage operations take place mostly in the Indian Ocean, China Sea and Persian Gulf and range from the refloating of grounded cargo vessels on coral reefs to major salvage operations on blazing missile hit VLCC’s during the Iran-Iraq war.


The book is full of impressive photographs, diagrams, maps and sent/received telexes during the operations. Captain Tew’s reports take us inside a branch of the shipping industry (salvage) that is commonly misunderstood by other mariners. In fact, as any other shipping business, profiting is the aim, although in this case there is an extreme risk associated with it. The author explains us the aspects of the LOF (Lloyd’s Open Form of salvage agreement) particularly the “no cure - no pay” part. The technical details of the salvage operations are exhaustive and the different salvage tugs play a main role on the stories.



I found the book very interesting and somehow it contributed to a change in the way I saw salvage. I was once involved, as a ship officer, in a major salvage operation of a holed VLCC and could witness from the signing of the LOF by the master to actively participate on the towage and STS operation that followed. This book reminded me that, although the signing of the LOF can be a dramatic event, from the legal and financial point of view of the ship owner, for the me it was quite a relief to see the salvage tug on the horizon on that morning off the South African coast, back in 1996…

My book is signed by the author, copy number 146 of a limited edition of 500.

Title: Salvage; A Personal Odyssey.
Author: Ian Tew
Pages: 293
Edition: Seafarer Books
ISBN: 13:9781906266004

All photos on this post copyright Captain Ian Tew.

All books appraised here are owned by this blog author, some were offered, most were bought. There is no commercial intention whatsoever, the only purpose of this blog section is to divulge one of my favorite things (books) concerning my favorite theme (the sea).

If there is any copyright infringement on any of the posts let us know at once.

You can find Maritime Book Review 1, “Lisbon Docks and Ships” by Luís Miguel Correia here.

1 comment:

Sailor Girl said...

Excellent review, as always.
Thanks for informing!