Merchant Shipping Act 1995

236 Duties of finder etc of wreck.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)If any person finds or takes possession of any wreck in United Kingdom waters or finds or takes possession of any wreck outside United Kingdom waters and brings it within those waters he shall—

(a)if he is the owner of it, give notice to the receiver stating that he has found or taken possession of it and describing the marks by which it may be recognised;

(b)if he is not the owner of it, give notice to the receiver that he has found or taken possession of it and, as directed by the receiver, either hold it to the receiver’s order or deliver it to the receiver.

(2)If any person fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with subsection (1) above he shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale and if he is not the owner of the wreck he shall also—

(a)forfeit any claim to salvage; and

(b)be liable to pay twice the value of the wreck—

(i)if it is claimed, to the owner of it; or

(ii)if it is unclaimed, to the person entitled to the wreck.

(3)Any sum payable under subsection (2)(b) above to the owner of the wreck or to the persons entitled to the wreck may, in England and Wales and Northern Ireland, be recovered summarily as a civil debt.

(4)In Scotland any sum payable under subsection (2)(b) above to the owner of the wreck or to the persons entitled to the wreck shall, for the purposes of the sum’s recovery, be regarded as a debt due to the owner or, as the case may be, to those persons.