Page 3 - Wonder Book Of Ships - Wrecks And Salvage
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WR,ECKS AND SALVAGE that the engines are disabled by some accident, and the steamer drifts helplessly until it receives assietance or the damage is repaired, often under great difficulties, by tho engineers on board. Sailors are, of co_urse, always glad to earn salvage money, and they naturally keep a sharp outlook for derelict vessels. Not manv .years ago a large steamer called ttre Loch Maree broke down off the Irish Coast, and as she was drifting out of the track of passing vessels, and there was danger that she would not be sighted, her crew aban- donedherand eventually arrivedinport. The news of the Loch Maree's plight soon spread,. and a number of tugs put to sea to search for the valuable prize. All returned without success except one. Her skipper used his knowledge of the tides and cu:rents so skilfully that he went straight to the abandoned vessel and towed it safely into harbour. X'or this he received a large sum of money. Usually, the amount of salvage to be paid is decided in the Ad- miralty Court, and of the total sum awa ded about a fourth is paid to the captain and crew, and the goes to the owners. Owners of ships and cargo protect themselves against loss by insurance, and the place Where the insurers, or underwriters, as thev are called, do their business is over the Ro;ral Exchange in London, and is known as Lloyd's, after the owner of tlie coffee-house in which they were first accustomed to meet. Lloyd's is a very busy'place, and telegrams from ail parts of the world pour in day and night, telling of the arrivals and departures of ships, and also of accidents and wrecks. The record is kept in big books, which are always being consulted by those who want to obtain news of vessels-. When a ship founders or sinks in deep water, like the unfortunate Titanic, it is a total loss, and there is no possibility of saving anything ; but if a vessel goes ashore or sinks in shallow water it may be possible to float her again, or at any rate to recover some of the cargo. Our pictures show how a floating dock can lift a vessel at sea. Both ships and their cargoes are often worth great sums of money, and it is important to act as quickly as possible. When property is re- covered in this way it is called " salvage." In olden days when a vessel went ashore or sank, even in shallow water, but little could be done to save the vessel or her ca go, for a wooden ship was soon broken up by a heavy sea. Now that steamers are built of steel the strongly riveted plates hold fast, and wonderful feats are performed by salvors. If a ship drives upon a reef and lies fast, with the bottom plates pierced
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