Salvaging and preservation

(File photo) Swedish Coast guard apprehended divers in the process of plundering protected shipwrecks.

Four divers charged with systematic plunder of protected wrecks in the Baltic

The Swedish Coast Guard apprehended the divers in July 2020, as they were found retrieving artifacts from a wreck off the Baltic island of Öland. A subsequent house search uncovered a large number of objects, which were suspected to originate from wrecks classified as protected. Among the objects was an iron cannon dated to the 17th century.

The indictment includes ten charges for incidents during a number of dives that took place from 2013 to 2020. Two of the men stand charged on all counts. 

Diver swims over the two-masted schooner, Walter B. Allen, which sank in 1880.
Diver swims over the two-masted schooner, Walter B. Allen, which sank in 1880.

New Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary established by NOAA

At the time of its designation in 2021, the sanctuary included 36 known shipwrecks dating from the 1830s to the 1930s, including Wisconsin's two oldest known shipwrecks, the schooners Gallinipper, which was constructed in 1833 and sank in 1851, and Home, which was built in 1843 and sank in 1858.

Diver holding Longquan ware. Photo credit: ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.
Diver holding Longquan ware. Photo credit: ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

Salvage operation leads to large haul of blue-and-white porcelain

In 2015, commercial and salvage diver Ahmad Qamarulhazman was clearing debris underwater near Pedra Branca island, 24 nautical miles east of Singapore, after two bulk loader cranes that were in danger of toppling were blown up.

On his final dive of the operation, he spotted something wedged between rocks 8m deep. His trained eye told him that it was not something natural, but it was tough to see what it was as it was encrusted with algae, molluscs and organisms. 

The Mary Rose on display

King Henry VIII’s flagship to get COVID-19 emergency funding

On 18 March 2020, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard issued the following tweet. "It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to close all of the sites of The National Museum of the Royal Navy. This is a difficult decision but we've done so with the wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and visitors in mind." Director General Dominic Tweddie


Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England stated "Our historic places bring us together. It is vital that they survive intact. Our emergency grants are providing a much-needed safety net to organisations and businesses that are helping to save our most precious heritage.”

The grant from Historic England is very timely and much appreciated. Mary Rose Trust

HMS Hood was the last battlecruiser built for the Royal Navy.

Bell from WW2 battleship HMS Hood recovered

The bell was successfully recovered the 7th of August. Mr. Allen's team led the operation using his yacht M/Y Octopus, which is equipped with a state-of-the-art remotely operated vehicle (ROV). Once restored, the bell will respectfully serve as a tangible and fitting memorial for the 1,415 lives lost when the Bismarck sunk the ship in the North Atlantic.

Portuguese treasure wreck gives picture of lives of early explorers

“This is a cultural treasure of immense importance,” Bruno Werz said when offering journalists a first glimpse of the precious find at the excavation site in Namibia’s diamond-rich ‘no-go zone’. Werz is leading a team of archeologists and geologists from Namibia, the United States, Portugal, South Africa and Zimbabwe in excavating the ship. The wreck has been described as the best-preserved example of early Portuguese ships found outside of Portugal. It’s good state of preservation being attributed its long burial in sand, which preserves wood.