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Wreck Stripping

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by divedude, Apr 30, 2002.

Taking artifacts

  1. Grab what you can pick up.

    18 vote(s)
  2. Destroy the site with crowbars

    3 vote(s)
  3. Leave it for other divers to see

    49 vote(s)
  4. Have protected sites only

    5 vote(s)
  1. Manogr

    Manogr Dive Travel Professional

    I guess it is nice to be the first in a wreck and take anything you want....BUT when you are "late" and the wreck is empty what are your feelings ?

    So....leave everything for other divers to see....you will be one of them in the future and you will be more than happy to be able to see some artifacts !

  2. Diversauras

    Diversauras NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Myrtle Beach SC
    Maybe in some areas the artifacts you leave behind will be there for the next group to view, but it isn't always the case.

    There are not enought dollars or archeologists to look at the wrecks that are known, let alone not yet discovered. The other big unknown is who will determine what is a significant or historically significant site and what recourse will the rest of the world have?

    I have a nice collection of artifacts from all sorts of sites, and I don't regret a single one.
  3. Rick Murchison

    Rick Murchison Trusty Shellback Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Gulf of Mexico
    There really is no right answer to this question as a general one. For specific wrecks, yes... a few warrant "no touch & no tell" and a few warrant "total salvage" - with the vast majority somewhere in between. Sometimes "preservation," both physical and historical, is best served in situ, sometimes in a display case. For most wrecks, I'd say the best scenario would be the salvage of a few items, and leave the rest alone - but here again the variability in what's appropriate is great.
    Education, and a strong divers' ethic combined with protection of those sites that really need it can best serve our future - as divers, as historians and as ethical beings.
  4. padiscubapro

    padiscubapro Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: New York
    I'm not an artifact collector(but if I saw something very valuable I don't think I'd pass it up), and have turned down the opportunity to collect some really nice relics.

    I am contemplating collecting some old China from an 1800s schooner that I located a while back.. There is practically nothing left of the wreck itself, its mostly cargo. As far as I can tell no other divers have been on the wreck, A single piece of china was brought up by a diver in our group to get an approximate age of the wreck..

    I don't believe taking artifacts should be banned, my view on artifact taking is that if it has historical significance leave it to the professionals to recover. If its in a location like cold fresh water where it will be around for years to come leave for others to see.. if its in a location where the wreck gets destroyed quickly like the ocean off the ne US.. take what you can it wount last for long..

    I have helped others recover some artifacts that needed more than one experienced diver to recover.. Some of these have been donated to maritime museums for others to see..
  5. Dafydd

    Dafydd Angel Fish

    When I see a wrecked car out in a field I don't think save this historic treasure for others. And pro's that tell the world to leave every thing for them because they are the pro's, well that seems like a con to me. Some times garbage is just that. But leave it long enough and it will be treasure to some one. So what determines the difference? Who gets to decide for everyone? Don't we have enough people telling every one what to do? We as a people love to use the term "Government" to indicate a higher authority. I claim that the government is nothing more than people, and they are no more intelligent than the rest of us. In fact from reading the news it is quit apparent that they are below average as a general rule. So please don't say "The Government Knows Best". If you say _______?_____ (insert a persons name), of such and such a branch of the government, because they have ____ experience and knowledge; then I would listen to your rationality.
    Remember ancient cave art is nothing more than what kids do to walls that the government calls illegal. When the vandal is dead his vandalism becomes "historically important", while living it is criminal...
    And what about the environment that is damaged by the wreck? Couldn't we "take everything that is not a natural part of the environment" and leave the environment pure?
    As a back pack camping enthusiast I pack it in, I pack it out, and then some. That is I clean up after others that left what they packed in. I also abide by "No Trace" camping. When I leave you won't be able to tell I was there. I usually camp where others have left traces and repair the damage before leaving. This is analogous to "Take only Pictures, Leave only Bubbles". Good ideas, but can't we leave it better than we find it? And here we are again, who decides what "Better" is?
    I don't have the answer, and I'm just rambling here because there is always more than one way to look at things. I'm a photographer and POV is the second most import thing to have right in a fine image.
  6. Diversauras

    Diversauras NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Myrtle Beach SC
    I don't agree with this statement though. I think that based on the available technology of the day that cave paintings are more akin to the Sistine Chaple or some high tech silicone valley computer chip etching.

    The rest, especially the part about the ecological impact of the wreck... that is great and a valid argument I think.
  7. divedude

    divedude Manta Ray


    If you find gold I'll help, I have a boat :mean:

    No I'm leaving the plates for my son
  8. njdiver1

    njdiver1 Barracuda

    The ASA was passed 15 years ago and is only in effect in those States that created their own burocracy to "monitor" their waters and wrecks. The Underwater Cultural Heritage Treaty was "passed" last November and only awaits ratification in the UN by a few countries. Under both of these the only "lawful" way to "retrieve artifacts" is by a professional Archeologist. The ASA allows avocational divers to recover a small amount for the purposes of identifying the wreck. The UCH Treaty would forbid even sight seeing trips to anything man made over 100 years old. These are what you now have to deal with in the world of wreck diving. Let me know if you'd like more details.
  9. AusWiz

    AusWiz Angel Fish

    And let's get this 'beaut' porthole off, managed afew of those over the years!

    But anything to do with War graves, or 'Protected' dive wrecks I stay well away from, there's too many Sea Lawyers out there to tangle with, as Mel Fisher found out when he found all that Spanish Maine Stuff.

    Nothing like having the odd cannonball and bridge telegraph adorning the rumpus room to remind you of the thrill of bringing that stuff up to the surface after so many years on the bottom. Just like bringing back all that 'Moonrock' back in the '60's;-)

  10. DEEP SEA

    DEEP SEA Nassau Grouper

    This is a funny topic. I know a lot of divers who preach not to take shells or anything at all. Which is probably the best thing. However, these same guys have GREAT shell collections and lots of cool stuff they like to show off!:argue:

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