The Maritime and Coastguard Agency is appealing for help to find six bronze cannons that remain outstanding

Two divers from Kent have today pleaded guilty to

not declaring valuable items from shipwrecks off the UK coast.

David Knight and Edward Huzzey, both from Sandgate, admitted to 19

offences between them, contrary to section 236 and section 237 of the

Merchant Shipping Act 1995.

Items were taken from shipwrecks off the Kent coast, with the first

known objects removed in 2001. The shipwrecks targeted included German

submarines from World War I and an unknown 200 year old wreck carrying

English East India Company cargo.

The items included 8 bronze cannons, 3 propellers from German

submarines, lead and tin ingots, along with various other artefacts.

It’s thought the combined value of the items is worth more than

£250,000.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is aware from diary entries

that Knight and Huzzey used explosives and sophisticated cutting

equipment to free wreck material.

Sentencing has been scheduled for 2 July 2014.

Alison Kentuck, the MCA’s Receiver of Wreck, said: ‘Our message is clear: all wreck material found within or brought

within UK territorial waters must be reported to the Receiver of Wreck.

It is not a case of ‘finders keepers’.

‘Finders of wreck have 28 days to declare their finds to the

Receiver. This case highlights the importance of doing that and

demonstrates what could happen to you if you don’t. > By reporting

wreck material you are giving the rightful owner the opportunity to have

their property returned and you may be adding important information to

the historic record.

‘Legitimate finders are likely to be entitled to a

salvage award, but those who don’t declare items are breaking the law

and could find themselves facing hefty fines.’

Mark Dunkley, English Heritage’s maritime designation adviser, said: ‘The investigation has highlighted the need to

tackle heritage crime, wherever it occurs, so that the remains of our

past remain part of our future.’

The MCA would also like to appeal to the public regarding the

whereabouts of six bronze cannons that remain outstanding.

They were

constructed in 1807 by W & G and have the English East India Company

logo (VEIC) on them.

If anyone knows the location of any of these cannons, please contact the Receiver of Wreck on 02380 329 474.