10 U.S. Code § 8702 - Acquisition and transfer of vessels and equipment
The Secretary of the Navy may acquire or transfer for operation by private salvage companies such vessels and equipment as the Secretary considers necessary.
(b) Agreement on Use.—
Before any salvage vessel or salvage gear is transferred by the Secretary to a private party, the private party must agree in writing with the Secretary that the vessel or gear will be used to support organized offshore salvage facilities for a period of as many years as the Secretary considers appropriate.
(c) Reference to Authority To Advance Funds for Immediate Salvage Operations.—
For authority for the Secretary of the Navy to advance to private salvage companies such funds as the Secretary considers necessary to provide for the immediate financing of salvage operations, see section 2307(g)(2) of this title.