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Salvage, in maritime law, either the rescue of life and property (a ship and its cargo) from danger on water or the reward given by a court to those who effect a rescue (called salvors). Under the law of the sea, it is the duty of a ship's master to go to the aid of an imperiled vessel. If life or property are saved, the owner of the rescue ship, the master, and the crew share in the salvage award. These awards are generous in order to encourage sailors and shipowners to risk their lives and property in rescue operations.

See also: Flotsam, jetsam, and lagan.

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