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Old 30 November 2004, 16:21   #1
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Laws on salvage

I am interested on the salvage laws that apply to rivers. Here is a hypothetical situation:
If I were to find a boat which I know has been sitting half sunk in a river for the last three months, would it be within the laws of the land to remove things from it (fixtures and fittings).
The boat is very definatly abandoned; as I say it's been half sunk for months now. It's a 4 or 5 meter day boat - GRP hull type thing.

Remember, all hypothetical of course

Tim
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Old 30 November 2004, 16:25   #2
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Salvage law is discussed here. I assume it applies to rivers as well as the sea? HTH
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Old 30 November 2004, 17:12   #3
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Dont quote me on this and im sure people know better than me but i think inland waterways fall under a different law???

Cant suport this at the moment but in one of my hungover lectures a few years back on maritime law im sure i heard the lecturer say something like that.

When im back in the office tomorrow i will look in my book and see what i can find out.
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Old 30 November 2004, 17:25   #4
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Tim,
Be careful! There may be local byelaws affecting this. If it's a tidal river, then it's likely that the wreck is crown property by default, otherwise title may be held by the owner of the river bed. In any case, the usual procedure for dealing with any wreck is to notify the Receiver of Wrecks to establish ownership and resolve any salvage claim.

Of course, if you're not "caught" removing fixtures and fittings, this is all academic, but consider why the craft has been left there - perhaps due to hardship or misfortune? And if you were the owner, how would you feel if your boat was plundered and stripped before you had the opportunity to recover it?
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Old 30 November 2004, 17:25   #5
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I get the feeling this boat has simply been abandoned; this stretch of river seems to be where everyone dumps old boats. It's been there for a good few months if not years and is starting to rot.
I will try and find out if anyone owns it. If no-one does I feel it's my duty to help keep the river clear of old rotting rubbish

Will "reccie" the boat and post a pic to see what u think.....
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Old 01 December 2004, 03:29   #6
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Tim,
Be careful! There may be local byelaws affecting this. If it's a tidal river, then it's likely that the wreck is crown property by default, otherwise title may be held by the owner of the river bed. In any case, the usual procedure for dealing with any wreck is to notify the Receiver of Wrecks to establish ownership and resolve any salvage claim.

Of course, if you're not "caught" removing fixtures and fittings, this is all academic, but consider why the craft has been left there - perhaps due to hardship or misfortune? And if you were the owner, how would you feel if your boat was plundered and stripped before you had the opportunity to recover it?
Richard...Come on the guys had three months to recover the wreck, if the council suddenly decide they are going to clean up the river do you honestly think they'd give a damn about the owners feelings ! more likely it would be dragged out and skipped.

Finders keepers springs to mind in this instance, if the owner was that bothered he would have recovered the wreck !!
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Old 01 December 2004, 04:33   #7
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If it were me........

.........I'd board her in full view of everyone without anything to hide. If challenged I'd appologise, if not I'd go about my business of removing items as neatly as possible with as little damage as possible and be on my merry way.

I would thereafter keep my "loot" in a safe place without using or selling it for at least 3 months (no reason for this time frame) and if during this period I was approached either by the owner, police or whoever, I'd hand it back with appologies and advice it was removed without damage to the craft. If not, I'd consider it mine. It may be breaking the law, it may be viewed by some as not right, it may be opportunist, however - that's life.
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Old 01 December 2004, 07:50   #8
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it may be opportunist, however - that's life.
Thanks for putting my mind at rest, Graeme. I've seen this ropey old Zodiac lying about in Abersoch and I fancied lifting a few bits off it. I'll feel much better about now.

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Old 01 December 2004, 09:06   #9
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I thought Ian's RIB.......

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I've seen this ropey old Zodiac lying about in Abersoch and I fancied lifting a few bits off it.DM
..........was a Prosport
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Old 01 December 2004, 10:40   #10
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You should discuss with the receiver of wreck - she can tell you what the legal position is and give you advice about what can and cant be done with it.

http://www.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/mcga-en...r_of_wreck.htm

Ricky
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