Circular, No. 254. (Cancelling No. 102.)
Admiralty, 17 June, 1856.
With reference to the 485th section of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1854, My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty are pleased to direct, that Circular No. 108 be cancelled, and that the Commanding Officers of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels shall conform to the directions contained in the following Circular and the clauses of the Act subjoined thereto:
1. All Officers in Command of Her Majesty's Ships are, as heretofore, to afford every possible aid to Vessels in danger, distress, or in want of casual assistance.
2. When such services have been rendered. the Commanding Officer of the Ship is to transmit a full report of the whole circumstances of the case, with a copy of the Ship's Log to the Commander-in-Chief, or Senior Naval Officer of the Station, for transmission to my Lords, whose written approval is requisite before any Officer in the Navy can raise a claim for Salvage, and such approval will not be given unless really important Service, or Service accompanied with hazard, has been rendered.
3. In cases where relays of men are sent for the purpose of affording assistance and where a large portion of the Crew have been employed, the Salvage which may be awarded is to be distributed according to the provisions of the Prize Proclamation in force at the time, unless specially apportioned by the terms of any decree or award, or otherwise to be divided among the parties actually employed, as my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty may direct.
4. All Officers are to use their best efforts to save, and protect property and stores, especially those belonging to the Crown, which may be on board any Vessel placed in circumstances of danger or distress ; and, if necessary, to remove such stores to a place of safety.
5. Commanders-in-Chief or Senior Officers in command are to report all cases of assistance rendered, or claims raised, to the Secretary of the Admiralty.
By Command of their Lordships,
To all Commanders-in-Chief. Captains, Commanders, and Commanding Officers of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels.
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