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Boston Sea Rovers == Thugs & Graverobbers ???

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That site is really poor. I question their journalism and intent. The only types of articles posted are negative. I have seen some other "interesting" articles on that site. As with all internet sites take them with a grain of salt.

 

Aaron

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If that is the stupidest thing you ever read, then you mustn't read much. I am not commenting on the journalism but on the idea. Are you saying that you think it is OK to take stuff from shipwrecks, that the law is wrong. Just because it is divers doing it makes it OK? Why not run down to your local California Mission and take the bells from the tower to sell on Ebay or some of the old stained glass windows. Stealing stuff from wrecks is still stealing, and I for one think that if you do it and get caught you should pay the price. Dynamiting a reef is just as bad, but at least (in some cases) these were people trying to feed their family while taking stuff from wrecks is mostly rich folk (compared to most tropical fisherman).

 

Bill

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Not commenting on the article either, but the issue: It really depends on where the wreck is located, and on the "law of the sea" which is pretty complicated. It's perfectly legal to salvage items from sunken ships - but of course NOT if it's a protected site under a government's jurisdiction.

 

Cheers

James

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My only comment is that the attitude of "it is there so we can take it" is a large part of why our oceans are becoming more and more decimated...

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The laws of undersea salvage are quite complex but mostly clear when the material to be salvaged is "commercial". The problem is that the wreck of the Nantucket was/is a National Historic Site and tney apparently were warned about looting. This is the same type of crew that got so much coverage in "Shadow Divers" for taking the stuff from the Andrea Doria. If you look on ebay there are lots of things you can buy that were taken from "protected" sites. I guess my opinion is that stealing is wrong and that just because it is underwater and you can get there doesn't justify taking stuff. I know that Coustea was famous for salvaging stuff from wrecks but he didn't sell it on Ebay.

 

Bill

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not to start a semantics war, but wasn't Shadow Divers about Chatterton and Kohler's search to identify the U869, one of Hitler's Lost Subs off the coast of NJ? And regarding the Andria Doria, it's been salvaged for years, and very publicly. What's wrong with collecting some dishes and silverware? It's not like these guys took personal belongings from those lost in the wreck.

 

And I agree that salvaging for profit (ebay) from sea graves is fundamentaly wrong, but I didn't see anything in any of the articles that said that's what these guys were doing. On the contrary, they were salvaging to put the articles on display in a museum.

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I would call the CDNN piece an editorial, not an article. Any story where only one side gets quoted isn't balanced.

 

Maritime law is indeed complicated. And it's about turf as much as what's decent and what isn't. The Feds have their own interests (right or wrong). Anyone who's seen the Atocha treasures knows that.

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Of course Shadow Divers was about the U869 but the story about looting the Andrea Doria and putting up the gate was great. My point is that looting a ship is not all that different than looting a store during the riots. There is a big thread on diver.net about "finders keepers". That type of thing makes me nuts. If most people dove the way the looters liked there would be nothing on any of the ships still in Truk or other places. Taking stuff that doesn't belong to you (no matter where you find them) is wrong. As for putting the stuff in a museum that is pure and utter horse manure. They had no interest in putting the stuff in a museum, it was for their own use and their own garages. Trophies for showing off. Call the Maritime museum in Gloucester and see if they had a contract to show the stuff. It amazes me that the CG told them to leave the stuff alone and they said NO, we know better we want to do salvage the stuff anyway. They should go to jail or pay a big fine but that won't happen either. I don't want to denigrate the Sea Rovers who happen to do a lot of really good stuff, but if I were president of that group I certainly wouldn't put up with members doing that kind of stuff under my auspices.

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This is sort of like the shark feeding debate. There's a notion of "wrong," which has people backing both sides and can be debated until everyone gets sick of it, and there is "illegal," which is usually something defined. If the legality is not properly defined, we waste lots of money in court, and people take advantage of questionable legality to do something considered to be "wrong," by some. But I'm not saying that everything that is illegal is wrong.

 

There. I've gone and confused even myself! :blink:

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After the Tsunami, posters were putting up copies of CDNN "articles" on my local dive clubs website (in Thailand).

 

It caused a rash of complaints because of the extremely biased view of Thailand and falsehoods contained in the articles - they caused a LOT of offense.

 

I don't think CDNN can be regarded as having an editorial policy that can be trusted, they seem to just put up articles which are sensationalist in view and not necessarilly true.

 

Just go through their site and read any article on Thailand - its negative and sensationalist.

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Yeah I checked it out, look's like a divers National Enquirer kind of tabloid, not a lot of positive thinker on this site, as far has the Sea Rover members (not the institution) implicated, if they broke the law, then let justice do it's work if not then it's their own business, up north you do so much as remove a zebra mussel from that wreck, boy those fellows diver around you will pull out the hammer and nail and then crucify you, it's a look dont touch law and the best enforcer is the diver's buddy and his/her conscience.

 

On the other side, some historical stuff should be brought up and made accessible to the public at large, but that should be done in a non profit, well planned way, case in point is the Vassa, a ship that spend a few hundred years in the cold north sea, it was brought up only to end up slowly decaying in some museum.

 

cheers

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I share the consensual opinion about the quality (or lack thereof) of the CDNN editorial direction. When our local dive community worked for years to acquire, clean, and ultimately sink the Spiegel Grove in Key Largo, CDNN began their "Headline News" with sensationalist verbiage such as "Frink's Folly" and implied I had some kind of financial motivation in the project.

 

The reality of course is that it was massively time-consuming to coordinate the government red tape involved with getting a miltary ship donated, and then raise the several million dollars it took to clean, tow, and sink the Spiegel Grove. Then, there was the additional stress that came about when the ship turned turtle, and we had to go about raising more money to set the ship on the bottom. There was no financial incentive, nor any way a revenue stream could have been established anyway as the whole thing was coordinated through our local Chamber of Commerce. The articles were just stupid and ill-informed.

 

As with most volunteer efforts, there was a group of dedicated local dive professionals that worked very hard to make this happen. My involvement was over a period of about 8 years, and had no specific motive other than to add another stellar dive to the Key Largo portfolio. At the time I felt very offended by the CDNN "reportage", but now laugh at their ludicrous attempt to sensationalize and denigrate the event. Particularly in light of how very popular the Spiegel Grove has become for visiting divers.

 

I think the best you can do with a site like this is not visit.

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Are there any Sea Rovers on this list, or someone who is affiliated with them? It would be nice to hear a rebuttal, but I agree with Steve that they are the diving Enquirer.

 

Joe

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:blink: Hi,

 

Some random thoughts (the only kind I have, generally) on the whole salvage thing. As a NE wreck diver I used to share the artifact obsession. If a wreck has salvage rights, or is historically designated, it should be left alone. Most divable wrecks (in my area) are neither. Also, wrecks are not static, they change, collapse, disintergrate. They will never be systimatically excavated under the auspicies of an archealogist (as w/ the Monitor, for instance). I'd prefer not to see major visual elements, salvaged. Years ago, the U-853 (near Block Isl.) had it's deck gun ripped of by salvors, eliminating a great visual feature & photo oportunity forever. Plates, & miscillany, particurly stuff well into the interior, would eventually be lost forever. Some members of our wreck diving community have made a concerted effort to display artifacts (i.e. The Intepred Museum).

 

While I still have the occaisional ship's bell dream, I've switched to photography as a keepsake, for 20 odd years now. However the blanket condemnation of artifact recovery, misses the mark as regards this issue (as did the artical/editorial).

 

Great diving,

 

Joe K

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