What is your opinion on salvaging relics from shipwrecks

What is your opinion on salvaging relics from shipwrecks

This is a discussion on What is your opinion on salvaging relics from shipwrecks within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; A firm just got the okay to cut into Titanic's hull to try to retrieve the Marconi telegraph machine. I know there are many who ...

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    What is your opinion on salvaging relics from shipwrecks

    A firm just got the okay to cut into Titanic's hull to try to retrieve the Marconi telegraph machine.
    I know there are many who say all wrecks should be left alone as they are grave-sites.
    I am an maritime history enthusiast. I have mixed feelings.
    But I do believe it is important to salvage the historical items to preserve them for future generations.
    You can tell a story, but there is something about putting your eyes on an object that really brings the story home.
    There are ways to do it and still preserve the dignity of the wreck.
    Any human remains including bones have been long gone, so the chance of bringing up remains is just about zero.
    We do this with ancient wrecks all the time.
    The remains of the USS Arizona are deteriorating at a pretty fast pace. Once the metal reaches a certain level of rust, it speeds up exponentially.
    Someday there will be nothing left but a rust colored lump at the bottom of Pearl Harbor.
    The Arizona is especially touchy as so many sailors went down with the ship.
    But can a way be found that is less disturbing to save some artifacts for future generations?
    It is still fresh in the minds of Americans today, but in another 100-200 years it many be a small footnote.
    Having artifacts in a museum helps keep the memory alive.
    https://www.foxnews.com/science/tita...egraph-machine

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    For the Titanic: who cares. Let whoever salvage whatever they can under maritime law. It is only famous because it was boasted as an unsinkable ship and it sank. It also had the unsinkable "Molly Brown" on board which helped with the historical lore. It is an old rust bucket. Salvaging something from this wreck is like salvaging something form a 1600's ere ship that sank.

    The USS Arizona is different. It is a part of US history. The historical context of the attack on Pearl Harbor and how it shaped the world after is important. Salvaging or keeping the remains of the vessel intact would be something I consider worthy of the effort.

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    I see no harm in getting salvage. I can see both sides of the argument, and don't have a strong opinion either way. It's not a battle I care to fight.
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    Not like any of us are going to go down there and look at the ship while itís intact. Unless they have some plan or raising it, cut away!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Osprey View Post
    For the Titanic: who cares. Let whoever salvage whatever they can under maritime law. It is only famous because it was boasted as an unsinkable ship and it sank. It also had the unsinkable "Molly Brown" on board which helped with the historical lore. It is an old rust bucket. Salvaging something from this wreck is like salvaging something form a 1600's ere ship that sank.

    The USS Arizona is different. It is a part of US history. The historical context of the attack on Pearl Harbor and how it shaped the world after is important. Salvaging or keeping the remains of the vessel intact would be something I consider worthy of the effort.
    That would be great to keep the wreck intact and preserved but it is not possible, it will be lost at some point and as quickly as it is occurring sooner than later.
    Rust Never Sleeps.
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    I wonder if G26Raven has any opinion on this?
    I believe I remember him telling us he had the honor to dive on the Arizona with the National Park Service.
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    There are international salvage laws, modified by laws of various countries. As long as they are followed, I don't see a problem. The deceased on these ships don't care. With the Titanic, there are probably no relatives alive who even knew any of them. The Arizona still belongs to the US Navy and is managed by the National Park Service, so it can't be salvaged except under their supervision. I have no doubt they will do what is appropriate. Memorial stuff is one area the military usually gets right. So it is a non-issue as far as I'm concerned.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KILTED COWBOY View Post
    I wonder if G26Raven has any opinion on this?
    I believe I remember him telling us he had the honor to dive on the Arizona with the National Park Service.
    The removal of artifacts from wrecks has been a controversial subject for a long time, and even I have mixed feelings about it. In the U.S. we have the Abandoned Shipwreck Act, which I have not personally reviewed in a long time. Being a shipwreck diving enthusiast, I removed my share of artifacts from wrecks prior to the Abandoned Shipwreck Act.

    Removing artifacts from wrecks that are accessible to divers certainly destroys the value of the wreck for divers enjoyment. For example, we did a week diving at Truk (Chuuk) aboard the Japanese merchant ships there. Those wrecks are still very interesting to dive, but almost all of the really great artifacts have been plundered by sport divers including Japanese diving helmets, instruments from the Zeros that were being transported, gas masks, sake cups and other china, bones, etc. There was a series of dives made at some point to recover all of the accessible human remains and repatriot them to Japan for proper interment.

    I personally don't have an issue with recovering artifacts that are no longer attached to the vessel and that may be lost forever. For example, I found the porthole in the attached photo that was from the wreck of the St.Paul off Carmel, California rolling around in the surf. It was badly beaten up. I brought it to shore and subsequently gave it to a friend in Monterey for safe keeping.

    What is your opinion on salvaging relics from shipwrecks-porthole.jpg

    Another friend of mine and I who were partners in a dive boat found the propeller from the tugboat Bilcona back in 1975, which ran aground on Santa Cruz Island. It was buried in the sand and we dug it out and brought it to Santa Barbara.

    What is your opinion on salvaging relics from shipwrecks-recovering-billcona-prop.jpg

    My wife and I once found a hand blown bottle from the wreck of the Aggi off Santa Rosa Island. We did not remove it since the Abandoned Shipwreck Act was in place. We were sad to leave it there because it would eventually be lost or destroyed by the sea, but there was no way to legally collect it without risking prosecution by the National Park Service.

    I don't believe in desecrating a war grave and I know for a fact that divers have removed artifacts from the Arizona. When I was diving on it there was a loose porthole lying on the deck, which I know was removed.
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    To me it is a 'pends on situation, in my opinion military wreaks should be left unmolested as a tribute to the crews that served on them. Civilian wreaks on the other hand may be salvaged, if remains are found they should be removed, identified and returned to country of origin.
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    In Virginia I saw the wreck/remains of the ironclad Monitor.
    It was a remarkable piece of history. I got to talk to the people who were conserving it.
    If it was just allowed to stay rusting on the bottom this piece of naval architecture that changed the direction of warships forever would have been lost.
    The CSA Hundley was found with the remains of the Confederate sailors still on board.
    It was brought up and the remains were treated with much reverence. There was a funeral parade to the cemetery where they were all interred with full military honors.
    Conservation can be achieved and honoring the dead can be accomplished together.
    On military wrecks, I do not believe that the artifacts should be sold for big profits to individuals. They should be donated or sold to museums and very carefully monitored

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    I thought Clive Cussler raised the Titanic?

    I think they're going to spend a lot of time and money as well as risk lives to cut a hole and find nothing left.
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    How do you feel about salvaging car parts? Or is it that ships have a soul? DR
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangerranger View Post
    How do you feel about salvaging car parts? Or is it that ships have a soul? DR
    I hope you had the sarcasm lamp on for that one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KILTED COWBOY View Post
    I hope you had the sarcasm lamp on for that one.
    Actually I don't. I would prefer that all the scrap was picked up off the bottom of the ocean. If you crash a car into the harbour, lake, or river, your ins gets the bill to remove it. Why should ships be treated differently? DR

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    Quote Originally Posted by dangerranger View Post
    Actually I don't. I would prefer that all the scrap was picked up off the bottom of the ocean. If you crash a car into the harbour, lake, or river, your ins gets the bill to remove it. Why should ships be treated differently? DR
    Big difference recovering a car in a few feet of water and a ship miles down in the ocean. The logistics alone makes the comparison ridiculous
    Many of these wrecks are of historical, and archaeological importance.
    Big difference between the Titanic and some guys Toyota Camry he drove off a pier.
    Boats and ships are removed if possible if they are a hazard to navigation.
    Then the big question of it being a grave site.

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