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Thread: Protection of Military Remains Act 1986

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    New Member Mike Rowley is an unknown quantity at this point Mike Rowley's Avatar
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    Protection of Military Remains Act 1986

    Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 (Designations of Vessels and Controlled Sites) Order 2006
    The Ministry of Defence has issued a Statutory Instrument (SI) 2006 No. 2616 under the above Act of Parliament which becomes effective from 1st November 2006. The purpose of this SI is to modify the number of wrecks protected by this act with a second tranche of wrecks.

    Under this SI which replaces the original SIs of 2002 and 2003 the number of Designated Controlled sites are 12. The number of Protected Places increases from the original 16 to 36.

    This is probably a good point to remind people of the difference between Controlled Sites and Protected Places as defined by the Act.

    Designated Protected Places are places (wrecks) that may be dived but divers commit a criminal offence if they touch, enter, remove any item or in any way interfere with the wreck. Put simply, you can swim around them but that is all.
    Interestingly, some of these wrecks are outside British territorial waters. In these cases should a UK national contravene this regulation they would be guilty of an offence. However, a national of any other country would not! For instance, a US citizen could quite legally enter such a wreck and or remove artefacts as he or she chooses.

    Designated Controlled Sites are sites which are identified by either position or name and have an exclusion zone around that position. This exclusion zone applies only to divers or salvers. Anglers, fishermen and vessels navigating over them are not affected by this SI.
    Divers commit a criminal offence by entering the water whilst wearing SCUBA equipment within the specified exclusion zone without a licence. These wrecks are all in waters that come under UK control.
    To date the Ministry of Defence has refused all applications for a licence to dive on any Designated Controlled Site.

    Within these figures the protection of at least one wreck (HMS Warwick off North Cornwall) has been downgraded from Controlled Site to Protected Place. However, one regularly dived wreck (UB81 off the Isle of Wight) has been included as a Controlled site. I understand the reason for this is that the pressure hull of the submarine is rapidly deteriorating and the MOD considers divers may be able to view human remains as the wreck deteriorates further.

    This tends to suggest that further wrecks will be upgraded and included as Controlled Sites over time and as they deteriorate. In view of this one could be forgiven for thinking it’s probably not a good idea for the diving community to report deterioration of wrecks to anyone.

    Some of the new ones designated as Protected Places are wrecks that are regularly dived such as HMS M2 and HMS Boadicea (off Portland). Fourteen of the newly designated wrecks were sunk during the Battle of Jutland in May 1916.

    The recent court case involving the SS Storraa has far reaching implications under this legislation. The MOD lost its appeal in the High Court on October 11th and has been ordered to treat merchant vessels sunk with loss of life in a similar manner to military vessels under the PMRA 1986. The Merchant Seaman’s Association, some marine archaeologists, survivors associations and other pressure groups can now be expected to lobby hard for all merchant ships sunk with loss of life during the two world wars and possibly within 200 years to be designated. Some 10,000 wrecks could be designated in the worst case scenario. It is unlikely they will be designated as Controlled Sites but the implications will go a long way to making criminals by reputation of us all.

    The only positive parts of this are that there are currently only a few wrecks designated and the MOD desperately wants to avoid the bureaucratic nightmare and cost of designating and policing so many more wrecks. It will probably only consider wrecks for designation on application from interested parties and the number of active survivors associations for merchant vessels are believed to be relatively small. Realistically, the MOD is unable to police the currently designated wrecks. However, this legislation provides a powerful tool for the more fanatical marine archaeologists.

    In the past, most of us have exchanged information on wrecks with various governmental bodies. However, in view of this and likely future legislation divers and skippers might like to consider whether it is wise to notify any official bodies such as the Hydrographic Office, the MOD or English Heritage if they locate any wrecks which may have any military connections. English Heritage has now been given responsibility for all UK underwater heritage by the government.

    The value of magazine and internet publicity on wrecks becomes a double edged sword now as people wishing to expand the scope of this legislation will scour such media to gather evidence to support their cause.

    I have listed the Protected Places and Controlled Sites below for your information.

    Mike Rowley.


    Designated controlled Sites

    Name of Ship
    Latitude
    Longitude
    Exclusion zone radius (metres)
    HMS Bulwark
    51.25.392N
    00.39.172E
    100
    HMS Natal
    57.41.244N
    04.05.310W
    100
    HMS A7
    50.18.518N
    04.17.984W
    200
    HMS Dasher
    55.37.747N
    05.00.953W
    200
    HMS Royal Oak
    58.55.848N
    02.59.001W
    200
    HMS Vanguard
    58.51.400N
    03.06.405W
    200
    UB – 81
    50.29.442N
    00.58.351W
    250
    HMS H5
    53.05.483N
    04.41.975W
    300
    HMS Hampshire
    59.07.065N
    03.23.843W
    300
    HMS Affray
    49.50.023N
    02.34.533W
    400
    HMS Formidable
    50.13.179N
    03.04.071W
    400
    HMS Exmouth
    58.18.467N
    02.28.938W
    750



    Designated Protected Places

    Name of Ship
    Date sunk
    HMS Acheron
    17.12.1940
    HMS Ardent
    31.05.1916
    HMS Black Prince
    31,05.1916
    HMS Blackwood
    15.06.1944
    HMS Boadicea
    13.06.1944
    HMS Bullen
    06.12.1944
    HMS Defence
    31.05.1916
    HMS Exmore
    25.02.1941
    HMS Fortune
    31.05.1916
    HMS Gloucester
    22.05.1941
    HMS Hood
    24.05.1941
    HMS Indefatigable
    31.05.1916
    HMS Invincible
    31.05.1916
    HMS K4
    31.01.1918
    HMS K17
    31.01.1918
    HMS M1
    12.11.1925
    HMS M2
    26.01.1932
    HMS Nestor
    31.05.1916
    HMS Nomad
    31.05.1916
    HMS Prince of Wales
    10.12.1941
    HMS Queen Mary
    31.05.1916
    HMS Repulse
    10.12.1941
    HMS Shark
    31.05.1916
    HMS Sheffield
    09.05.1982
    RFA Sir Galahad
    25.06.1982
    HMS Sparrowhawk
    31.05.1916
    HMS Swordfish
    07.11.1940
    HMS Tipperary
    31.05.1916
    HMS Turbulent
    31.05.1916
    HMS Umpire
    19.07.1941
    HMS Vandal
    24.02.1943
    HMS Vortigern
    15.03.1942
    HMS Warrior
    31.05.1916
    HMS Warwick
    20.02.1944
    U – 12
    05.10.1939
    UB – 65
    14.07.1918

  2. #2
    RBW Member colinicky is a name known to all colinicky is a name known to all colinicky is a name known to all colinicky is a name known to all colinicky is a name known to all colinicky is a name known to all colinicky is a name known to all colinicky is a name known to all colinicky is a name known to all colinicky is a name known to all colinicky is a name known to all colinicky's Avatar
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    Re: Protection of Military Remains Act 1986

    Anyone still in any doubt over the possible implications of the recent DCMS review of wreck legislation just needs to look at what has been posted above.

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    Re: Protection of Military Remains Act 1986

    Oh look, is that a d1ck in our asses again? Let me look, oh yes, what do you know. The British government and the PC brigade again.

    Have RIB, can travel. When a type 22 rolls up and asks me to eff off, then I might take notice. Until then,
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    Re: Protection of Military Remains Act 1986

    I wonder if anyone's dived the Sheffield?

    She's in the Falklands.

    EDIT: additional information.

    She actually sank on 10th May 1982, 5 days after the Exocet attack which killed 20 of her crew. at the time of the sinking she was under tow.

    She sank in the middle of the ocean to the South East of the Falklands.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by abowie; 21st October 2006 at 02:56. Reason: More information

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    New Member Deepthought_reloaded is an unknown quantity at this point Deepthought_reloaded's Avatar
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    Re: Protection of Military Remains Act 1986

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Rowley  View Original Post
    English Heritage has now been given responsibility for all UK underwater heritage by the government.
    Oh wonderful (NOT)- I hope these guys have been taking the "common sense" pills (otherwise we may see barnacles being issued court orders to cease and desist) :o

    Sorry if I sound a bit cynical but I used to work in a rather nice edwardian building - the owners had to do something about subsidence, dry rot and deathwatch beetle - planned to preserve the structure of the building supported with an internal steel skeleton - works would have cost a couple of million which was sensible given what the building was worth. English Heritage decided the work had to be done using Oak beams or not at all - cost in excess of 10m.
    Building not there anymore - knocked down and replaced with bland modern flats. Hooray for the guys in EH

    Just out of interest, where would doing a swim-thru on a controlled site rate on a scale of criminality, compared to for example robbing a little old lady...


    Anyway, suppose we'd better enter those coordinates into the GPS (So we can avoid them - Honest)

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    Re: Protection of Military Remains Act 1986

    Quote Originally Posted by divetheworld  View Original Post
    Oh look, is that a d1ck in our asses again? Let me look, oh yes, what do you know. The British government and the PC brigade again.

    Have RIB, can travel. When a type 22 rolls up and asks me to eff off, then I might take notice. Until then,

    ....hee hee , have some green for badness!

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    Brent - Narked at 90
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    Re: Protection of Military Remains Act 1986

    Quote Originally Posted by DonalWalsh  View Original Post
    ....hee hee , have some green for badness!
    Cough, HMS Edinburgh, splutter, hypocrites.

    I also carry a nice big pirate flag to wave at the 'tut tutters' as they roll on by.
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    RBW Member Lord M is an unknown quantity at this point Lord M's Avatar
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    Re: Protection of Military Remains Act 1986

    I was looking at this and something didn't add up, someone's been diving the Warwick.

    A lot, and it's not me.

    It's even advertised on his website!! So they obviously don't go into much research on controlled sites do they?

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    Re: Protection of Military Remains Act 1986

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord M  View Original Post
    I was looking at this and something didn't add up, someone's been diving the Warwick.

    A lot, and it's not me.

    It's even advertised on his website!! So they obviously don't go into much research on controlled sites do they?
    You can dive the Warwick, its protected not controlled.

    I find this all rather silly, I can walk into a field in Flanders and crunch my way through the bones of thousands but I can't swim through an empty rotting steel shell?

    Who remembers the sailors who died on these wrecks most- the long dead relatives or the few divers who pay through there nose to dive these wrecks.... they'll be banning us visiting graveyards next incase we litter them with flowers or some such nonsense.

    Another Govermental master stroke to add to the list- 2012 Olympics, Road Pricing, Congestion Charging, Inheritance Tax, Invading anywhere America does, Immigration Policy etc....

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