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Look But Don't Touch 14 March 2005

The Department of Transport would wish to draw attention to the responsibilities of divers under the Wreck & Salvage (Ships & Aircraft) Act 1979. In broad terms, wrecks and their contents, should be considered as private property. Consequently, a diver is not entitled to tamper with or remove anything from a wreck, without appropriate permission.

The Wreck & Salvage Act contains provisions for the reporting of items removed from a wreck and failure to comply with these provisions may lead to a diver being prosecuted.

The Department is aware that a "look but donít touch" policy is being advocated in order that wrecks are available for the enjoyment of future generations. This is particularly the case where the wreck may be of historic interest, where special provisions of the Wreck & Salvage Act apply.

For further advice please contact any harbour office where information leaflets are available.

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