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
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.
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.