What Bri­tish ship­ping law states

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

IN TERMS of Bri­tain’s Mer­chant Ship­ping Act of 1995, any­thing taken from a wreck or found on the shore must be re­ported to the Re­ceiver of Wreck.

“Wreck” in­cludes any part of a ves­sel, air­craft or hov­er­craft in­clud­ing any of its cargo or equip­ment which is ei­ther “flot­sam” (goods lost from a ship that has sunk or oth­er­wise per­ished and which are re­cov­er­able be­cause they have floated), “jet­sam” (goods cast over­board or jet­ti­soned), “derelict” (property aban­doned and de­serted at sea with­out any hope of re­cov­er­ing it) or “la­gan” (also “ligan”, being goods cast over­board from a ship, buoyed so that they can be re­cov­ered later).

In an in­ter­view with Scilly To­day news­pa­per a few years ago, Re­ceiver of Wreck Ali­son Ken­tuck said ma­te­rial she’d han­dled ranged from “glass jars of cher­ries from the 1800s and hundreds of tons of pine planks to un­der­wear and shoes”.

The re­port said as the re­ceiver of wreck, Ken­tuck, was also “keeper of the fishes royal”, an an­cient term re­lated to the crown’s own­er­ship of whales, dol­phins and stur­geon that are washed ashore, a task she de­scribed as “par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult and smelly”.

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