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Protection of Wrecks Act 1973

Any supplement of a vessel being protected stated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 would have to be protected under certain subsections of that legislation. In this respect, the first point to address is if the vessel was found in a distraught place under s.1 (1) (a) ‘the site of a vessel lying wrecked on or in the sea bed;’ suggests any vessel unprotected or unguarded, would have to be protected. As stated in s.1 (1) (b) ‘the site ought to be protected from unauthorised interference’ suggesting any person interfering with these vessels would be committing an illegal offence and could be contributing to satisfying all the necessary requirements set out in the Act.
Secondly, due to the importance of the vessel being a historical antique, it is therefore valuable; and therefore the vessels are more likely to be kept under protection. As ‘s.1 (1) (b) stresses the value of vessels by describing it as ‘historical, archaeological or artistic.’ It could be argued that this defeats the sole purpose of keeping the vessels safe. Furthermore, the subsection has reference to ‘any object contained or formerly contained in it which it may be lying on the sea bed in or near the wreck may be protected’. Any content in the vessels that is lying on the sea bed in or near the wreck is also treasured should also be protected under section 1 of the act.
In reference to s.1 (2) (a) ‘the restricted area shall be all within such distance of the site (so identified) as is specified in the order, but excluding any area above high water mark of ordinary spring tides’ indicating that the restricted area should be any area with an identified distance and not an area with high water mark otherwise it is no longer classed as a restricted area and vessels would not be protected under these grounds. Under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973, any individual...

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