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When a ship is disabled, but nearby vessels may be willing to assist, what is the point of the master contacting the owners?

MCA Oral Exam Questions
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The owners may be able to arrange cheaper towage services on a contractual basis (e. g. stipulating ordinary tariff, fixed lump sum or a daily rate) than any salvage assistance that the master could engage from nearby ships. The master would be exceeding his authority if he engaged a more expensive salvor without consulting the owners when there was enough time to do so.

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