“Best Endeavours” provides a vivid insight into the challenging and often dangerous world of salvage. This is a large-format hardback book, printed in full colour. Best Endeavours focuses on the human qualities which make salvage possible, even when the odds are stacked heavily against success.

Fire teams in action on Al Ahood's main deck, following two Exocet hits on the tanker in May 1984.

Fire teams in action on Al Ahood’s main deck, following two Exocet hits on the tanker in May 1984.

Accounts of over 100 salvage operations are supported by over 150 stunning photographs conveying the drama and hazards of working at the edge of the possible.

Many of the cases are recalled by the Salvage Masters who were in the front line. They faced the consequences of fires, explosions, collisions and groundings. The narrative also includes the first extensive accounts of salvage operations during the so-called “Supertanker War” between Iraq and Iran.

The author, marine casualty and media specialist Tony Redding, provides comprehensive coverage of the subject. The accounts examine unusual cases, the influence of luck, the role of courage and persistence in the face of adversity and the creative thinking that has turned many a potential failure into a successful venture.

The end of Essberger Chemist's bow section, following a torpedo strike by the British nuclear submarine HMS Dreadnought.

The end of Essberger Chemist’s bow section, following a torpedo strike by the British nuclear submarine HMS Dreadnought.

Some chapters deal with the environmental issues which now dominate salvage and demonstrate how politics has a habit of intruding. Extraordinary cases are reviewed, including inside stories of the recovery of a Boeing 747 from the waters of Hong Kong Harbour and the raising of the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk. This book also includes accounts of:

• A bulk carrier that grounded in Canadian waters. The car salesman on the bridge had the habit of “filling in” for qualified Pilots.
• The fight to save the tanker Kirki, when her bow “fell off” in heavy weather.
• What happened when a missile struck Safina al Arab, one of the world’s largest tankers.
• A lucky escape when the salvage crew working on the ro-ro Jolly Rubino all survived a helicopter crash onto the casualty’s main deck.
• The scenes of tragedy and horror witnessed by the tug crews and other rescuers when the cross-channel ferry Herald of Free Enterprise rolled onto her side off Zeebrugge.
• A vivid description of the boarding of the burning tanker British Trent, carrying a gasoline cargo and with a main deck too hot to stand on.
• The day when Iraqi Mirage jets delivered the first air strike against large tankers at Iran’s Sirri Terminal.
• The young man who was in the wheelhouse when his tug was struck by an Exocet missile.

The publication of Best Endeavours in 2004 marked the occasion of the International Salvage Union’s 50th General Meeting.

Best Endeavours: Inside the World of Marine Salvage, by Tony Redding, is published by The ABR Company Limited, The Barn, Ford Farm, Bradford Leigh, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire BA15 2RP, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 1225 868821. Fax: +44 (0) 1225 868831.

E-mail: sales@tugandsalvage.com. Price: £27.50 (Full Members and ISU Associates, £22.50), plus postage.

Best Endeavours