Man fined for porthole recovery

Diver falls foul of Protection of Military Remains Act

Author: Pat
3rd February 2012
 

A diver has been fined for removing a porthole from a protected shipwreck off Orkney.

The as yet unnamed 40-year old salvaged a porthole from the HMS Duke of Albany.

Sunk in August 1916 during the First World War, the armed merchantman had been carrying depth charges, which blew up when she was attacked.

Today, her remains lie at around 70 metres. The Albany is protected under the Protection of Military Remains Act.

At Kirkwall Sheriff’s Court in Scotland the diver was fined £1,400 for taking the porthole and a metal plate from the site. He was lucky – under Scottish law, fines of up to £10,000 are dished out for illegal salvage.

Jane Maddocks, BSAC’s Underwater Heritage Adviser, said the case showed “…how important it is to check on the Receiver of Wreck’s website or the BSAC website to find out which wrecks are protected.

“The only way to be sure of being safe from prosecution is not to take any material from a wreck that went down as a result of enemy action, or in an accident in the inter-war years.”

 
 
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