Florida Law Would Ban Salvage "Piracy"
| December 7, 2017
Eric Hull of Brandon says he was charged $30,000 by a salvage company to pump water out of his boat–a job that he says took ten minutes.
When Eric Hull called out a maritime salvage and towing company to get some water out of his boat, he had no idea what he was getting into. He thought it was a minor job.

But when he received the bill, Hull was shocked. It was anything but minor.

"A few weeks later I received a bill for $30,000 for what amounted to ten minutes worth of work on my boat. All they did was put a hose onto my boat and pump some water out," Hull said. "I couldn't believe it. I was appalled this could happen."

The Brandon resident was a victim of what two Florida lawmakers call "modern-day piracy" carried out by some maritime salvage and towing companies.

"The actions of a limited number of these companies amount to a form of modern-day piracy, and it must stop. Unfortunately, there have been some terrible abuses in a system that many boat owners rely on," said Sen. Dana Young, R-Tampa. "Consumers throughout the state have felt misinformed and misled by vague salvage claim fees that crop up when they request assistance on the water."

According to Young, the problem is that maritime regulations and admiralty laws permit salvage and towing companies to assess a salvage claim when assisting boat owners. Such claims usually result in excessive fees that are based on the value of the boat instead of the actual services performed.

Read the rest of the story in The Capitolist here:


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