Originally, a „successful“ rescue was a rescue of at least part of the ship or cargo, otherwise the principle „No Cure, No Pay“ meant that the Salvor would get nothing. In the 1970s, a series of marine accidents caused by single-hulled tankers resulted in serious oil spills. Such victims were not attractive to Salvors, so the Lloyd`s Open Form (LOF) ensured that a salvor who tries to avoid environmental damage was paid, even if he was unsuccessful. Lloyd`s initiative proved so beneficial that it was incorporated into the 1989 agreement. In the early days of Europe, diving bells were often used for rescue operations. In 1658, Albrecht de Treileben was commissioned by King Gustav Adolf of Sweden to recover the warship Vasa, which sank in 1628 on its maiden voyage to the port of Stockholm. Between 1663 and 1665, Treileben`s divers managed to lift most of the cannon from a diving bell.  In 1687, Sir William Phipps used a reverse container to retrieve treasures worth US$200,000 from a Spanish ship that was sunk off the coast of San Domingo. Many services can support the right to a salvage premium. For example, a recovery request was granted when the Salvor was assisting in firefighting when the fire was not immediately brought under control. A rescue service can be successful even if the Salvor has helped fight nearby fires, which could put the vessel at risk.
The rescue could be defined as „any act or activity to support a vessel or other vessel in danger, in navigable waters or in other waters.“ The English Oxford Dictionary defines rescue as a „rescue (a disabled ship or ship or cargo) before the loss at sea.“ The general definition of rescue as a maritime term is „a reward for the rescue of property at sea.“ The reward for saving lives is also there, but historically, recovery is linked to the rescue of property. In order for a right to be recognised, three conditions must be met: the property must be in danger, the benefits must be provided on a voluntary basis (no obligation to act) and, finally, the rescue must be fully or partially fruitful.