The familiar doctrine of salvage, in the admiralty law, affords a striking illustration of the principle of dutiful intervention as applied to the preservation of property.1 Salvage is defined as compensation allowed to persons by whose assistance a ship or its cargo or both have been saved, in whole or in part, from impending peril, or recovered from actual loss. Obviously, the essentails of quasi contractual liability as set forth in the preceding sections (ante, Sec. Sec. 191, 192, 197) are all present:
1 1855, "21 Mo. 396, 397, 398.
2 Handlin v. Morgan County, 1874, 57 Mo. 114, 116.
1. The ship or cargo must be in such peril as reasonably to call for intervention.2
2. The intervention must result in a benefit to the owner or person otherwise interested against whom claim is made.3 That is to say, compensation will not be allowed, however great and meritorious are the claimant's exertions, if the property is not saved.
3. If the claimant was under an obligation to render the services,4 or through his fault contributed to place the property in peril,1 or was guilty of willful or grossly negligent misconduct toward the defendant,2 the retention of the benefit is not unjust, and therefore compensation will not be allowed.
1 The City of Chester, 1884, 9 P. D. 182. Austin cites negotiorum gestio in the Roman Law and salvage in the English as instances of quasi contract. Austin, "Jurisprudence" (3d ed.), p. 944.
2 Akerblom v. Price, 1881, 7 Q. B. D. 129; The Aglaia, 1888, 13 P. D. 160; Seven Coal Barges, 1870, 2 Biss. (U. S. C. C.) 297; Fed. Cas. No. 12,677; The Plymouth Rock, 1881, 9 Fed. 413, (U. S. D. C. N. Y.); The Alamo, 1896, 75 Fed. 602; 21 C. C. A. 451; 41 U. S. App. 468; The Mannie Swan, 1906, 145 Fed. 747, (U. S. D. C. N. Y.); The New Haven, 1908, 159 Fed. 798, (U. S. D. C. Conn.).
3 The Zephyrus, 1842, 1 W. Rob. 329; The India, 1842, 1 W. Rob. 406; The Sabine, 1879, 101 U. S. 384 ; The City of Puebla, 1907, 153 Fed. 925, (U. S. D. C. Cal.); The Loch Garve, 1910, 182 Fed. 519; 105 C. C. A. 57. In The Zephyrus, supra, Dr. Lushington said (p. 330): "Now I apprehend that, upon general principles, a mere attempt to save the vessel and cargo, however meritorious that attempt may be, or whatever degree of risk or danger may have been incurred, if unsuccessful, can never be considered in this Court as furnishing any title to a salvage reward. The reason is obvious, viz. that salvage reward is for benefits actually conferred, not for a service attempted to be rendered."
4 The Branston, 1826, 2 Hagg. Admr. 3; The Clarita, 1874, 23 Wall. 1, 17 (semble); The Wave, 1827, 2 Paine (U. S. C. C.) 131; Fed. Cas. No. 17,300; The Holder Borden, 1847, 1 Spr. (U. S. D. C. Mass.) 144; Fed Cas. No. 6600; The Olive Branch, 1868, 1 Lowell (U. S. D. C. Mass.) 286; Fed. Cas. No. 10,490; The Brabo, 1887, 33 Fed. 884, (U. S. D. C. Ala.); Kidney v. The Ocean Prince, 1889, 38 Fed. 259, (U. S. D. C. Tex.); The C. P. Minch, 1894, 61 Fed. 511, (U. S. D. C.
It should be added that the obligation in maritime salvage cases differs from that in cases of dutiful intervention under the common law in that a salvor, under the maritime law, has a lien upon the proprety saved, which enables him to maintain a suit in rem against the ship or cargo. This is the remedy commonly pursued. But the salvor, at his election, may proceed in personam against the owner or the person benefited by the service.3 And the action in personam is the only available N. Y.); Gilbraith v. Stewart Transp. Co., 1902, 121 Fed. 540; 57 C. C. A. 602; 64 L. R. A. 193.
1 Cargo ex Capella, 1867, L. R. 1 A. &. E. 356; The Due d'Aumale,  P. 60; The Clarita, 1874, 23 Wall. (U. S.) 1; American Insurance Co. v. Johnson, 1827, Bl. & H. (U. S. D. C..N. Y.) 9; Fed. Cas. No. 303; The Charles E. Soper, 1883, 19 Fed. 844 (U. S. D. C. N. Y.); The Pine Forest, 1904, 129 Fed. 700; 64 C. C. A. 228; 1 L. R. A. (N. S.) 873.
2 The Capella,  P. 70, (taking possession against protest of ship's officers and other misconduct); The Blaireau, 1804, 2 Cranch (U. S.) 240, (misappropriation of part of the property saved); The Bello Corrunes, 1821, 6 Wheat. (U. S.) 152, (stranding the vessel); The Aberdeen, 1885, 27 Fed. 479, (U. S. D. C), (abandonment of vessel after taking possession); The Henry Steers, Jr., 1901, 110 Fed. 578, (U. S. D. C. N. Y.), (abandonment); The Bremen, 1901, 111 Fed. 228, (U. S. D. C. N. Y.), (negligent conduct causing fire, practically extinguished, to break out again); The Olympia, 1909, 181 Fed. 187, (D. C. Fla.), (obtaining acquiescence of master by fraud); The Minnie E. Kelton, 1910, 181 Fed. 237, (U. S. D. C. Or.), (unskillful handling detracting from value of service).
3 According to most of the decisions the right in personam is limited to cases of genuine contract. That is to say, the salvor is restricted to proceedings in rem, unless it appears that the owner either contracted for his services in advance, or in consideration of the surrender to him of the property saved expressly or impliedly assumed a personal liability. The Elton,  P. 265; The Sabine, 1879, 101 U. S. 384; The Emblem, 1840, 2 Ware (Dav. 61) (U. S. D. C. Me.) 68; Fed. Cas. No. 4434; The Independence, 1855, 2 Curtis (U. S. C. C.) 350; Fed. Cas. No. 7014; Seaman v. Erie, etc., R. Co. 1868, 2 Ben. (U. S. D. C. N. Y.) 128; Fed. Cas. No. 12,582. And see Admiralty Rule 19, promulgated by the United States Supreme Court. But it is declared in a recent English decision that "the action in personam did not arise out of jurisdiction in rem, and that the distinction between actions in remedy when the property saved is subsequently destroyed, or seized under legal process.1