Divers Guilty of Raiding Historic Shipwrecks

By Eric Haun
Thursday, May 15, 2014
A cannon that was taken from one of the wrecks (MCA photo)

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced that two divers from Kent have pleaded guilty to not declaring valuable items from shipwrecks off the U.K. coast.

David Knight and Edward Huzzey, both from Sandgate, admitted to 19 offences between them, contrary to section 236 and section 237 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995.

Items were taken from shipwrecks off the Kent coast, with the first known objects removed in 2001. The shipwrecks targeted included German submarines from World War I and an unknown 200 year old wreck carrying English East India Company cargo.

The items included eight bronze cannons, three propellers from German submarines, lead and tin ingots, along with various other artifacts. It’s thought the combined value of the items is worth more than £250,000.

MCA said it is aware from diary entries that Knight and Huzzey used explosives and sophisticated cutting equipment to free wreck material.

Sentencing has been scheduled for July 2, 2014.

Alison Kentuck, the MCA’s Receiver of Wreck, said, “Our message is clear: all wreck material found within or brought within UK territorial waters must be reported to the Receiver of Wreck.  It is not a case of ‘finders keepers’.”

Kentuck continued, “Finders of wreck have 28 days to declare their finds to the Receiver. This case highlights the importance of doing that and demonstrates what could happen to you if you don’t. By reporting wreck material you are giving the rightful owner the opportunity to have their property returned and you may be adding important information to the historic record. Legitimate finders are likely to be entitled to a salvage award, but those who don't declare items are breaking the law and could find themselves facing hefty fines.”

English Heritage has provided advice on handling cultural objects, assessed the importance of objects seized as evidence and provided expert advice in relation to uncontrolled salvage on submerged archaeological remains.

Mark Harrison, English Heritage's National Policing and Crime Adviser, said, "We recognize that the majority of divers enjoy the historic marine environment and comply with the laws and regulations relating to wrecks and salvage. This case sends out a clear message that the small criminal minority will be identified and brought to justice."

Mark Dunkley, English Heritage's Maritime Designation Adviser, said, "The investigation has highlighted the need to tackle heritage crime, wherever it occurs, so that the remains of our past remain part of our future."

The MCA also appealed to the public regarding the whereabouts of six bronze cannons that remain outstanding. The cannons were constructed in 1807 by W & G and have the English East India Company logo (VEIC) on them.

The MCA asked for anyone who knows the location of any of the cannons to contact the Receiver of Wreck on 02380 329 474.
 

  • A cannon that was taken from one of the wrecks (MCA photo)

    A cannon that was taken from one of the wrecks (MCA photo)

  • Artifacts that were taken from the wrecks (MCA photo)

    Artifacts that were taken from the wrecks (MCA photo)

  • Artifacts that were taken from the wrecks (MCA photo)

    Artifacts that were taken from the wrecks (MCA photo)

  • Artifacts that were taken from the wrecks (MCA photo)

    Artifacts that were taken from the wrecks (MCA photo)

  • Artifacts that were taken from the wrecks (MCA photo)

    Artifacts that were taken from the wrecks (MCA photo)

  • Artifacts that were taken from the wrecks (MCA photo)

    Artifacts that were taken from the wrecks (MCA photo)

  • Artifacts that were taken from the wrecks (MCA photo)

    Artifacts that were taken from the wrecks (MCA photo)

  • A cannon that was taken from one of the wrecks (MCA photo)
  • Artifacts that were taken from the wrecks (MCA photo)
  • Artifacts that were taken from the wrecks (MCA photo)
  • Artifacts that were taken from the wrecks (MCA photo)
  • Artifacts that were taken from the wrecks (MCA photo)
  • Artifacts that were taken from the wrecks (MCA photo)
  • Artifacts that were taken from the wrecks (MCA photo)
Maritime Reporter July 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Asian Nations Call for Stop to South China Sea Land Work

Calls grow for China to halt land reclamation. Southeast Asian countries on Tuesday backed a U.S. call to halt land reclamation in the South China Sea, underlining

FMC Collects $1,227,500 in Penalties from NVOCC's

Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero announced that the Commission has completed compromise agreements recovering a total of $1,227,500 in civil penalties.

NYK Hosts Safety Conference

Over three dates in July, NYK hosted a safety promotion conference for shipowners and ship-management companies at the NYK head office in Tokyo and at Imabari city in Ehime prefecture.

Navy

Pressure for Australia Sub Deal Grows

Australia to spend A$65 bln on ships and subs over 20 years; PM pledges A$40 bln for domestic shipbuilders. Australia will spend A$89 billion ($65 billion) on

Asian Nations Call for Stop to South China Sea Land Work

Calls grow for China to halt land reclamation. Southeast Asian countries on Tuesday backed a U.S. call to halt land reclamation in the South China Sea, underlining

Australian PM Promises 2500 Shipbuilding Jobs

Up to 2,500 shipbuilding jobs in Adelaide will be safe for "all time", the Prime Minister says, ahead of the expected announcement to build a new fleet of Navy ships worth $39 billion, reports ABC.

News

Marad Visits TX Maritime Technology & Training Center

United States Maritime Administration tours Maritime Technology and Training Center site.   Administrators from the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD),

ISS Announces CEO Transition

Captain Claus Hyldager yesterday decided to step down as the Chief Executive Officer of Inchcape Shipping Services (“ISS”).    The current Chief Financial Officer,

CME Lifts Force Majeure for all Illinois River Grain Terminals

CME Group has lifted its declaration of force majeure at all Illinois River terminals that are regular for Chicago Board of Trade corn and soybean futures delivery,

Coast Guard

Asian Nations Call for Stop to South China Sea Land Work

Calls grow for China to halt land reclamation. Southeast Asian countries on Tuesday backed a U.S. call to halt land reclamation in the South China Sea, underlining

Latest USCG Cutter At Boston Harbor

The Coast Guard’s latest 418-foot National Security Cutter James (WSML 754) entered Boston Harbor August 3, 2015. The James is the fifth of eight planned National

Coast Guard Monitors Oil Recovery Ops near Bayonne, NJ

Coast Guard crews are continuing to monitor oil recovery operations (ORO) in the water near the International-Matex Tank Terminal (IMTT) Bayonne, New Jersey, Monday.

People in the News

Pressure for Australia Sub Deal Grows

Australia to spend A$65 bln on ships and subs over 20 years; PM pledges A$40 bln for domestic shipbuilders. Australia will spend A$89 billion ($65 billion) on

Asian Nations Call for Stop to South China Sea Land Work

Calls grow for China to halt land reclamation. Southeast Asian countries on Tuesday backed a U.S. call to halt land reclamation in the South China Sea, underlining

FMC Collects $1,227,500 in Penalties from NVOCC's

Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero announced that the Commission has completed compromise agreements recovering a total of $1,227,500 in civil penalties.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2185 sec (5 req/sec)