I apologize for the pirate talk, but those busy bees over at Oddysey have done it again. They’ve found the remains of the HMS Victory, which sunk off the Channel islands in a 1744 storm, taking with it the 1,100 crew on board.
Of the wreck, the Guardian explains:
HMS Victory led the Channel fleet before Nelson’s flagship of the same name and has been described this weekend as of “enormous financial value”, as well as historic significance. Its brass cannon are estimated to be worth £10,000-£20,000 each…
Of the legal situation, it goes on:
Although the ship is thought to have been rediscovered in international waters, it is a military wreck and therefore protected by “sovereign immunity” and so officially belongs to the state. If the British government decides to allow Odyssey to salvage the wreck for commercial gain, it will be flouting the rules of the appendix to a Unesco convention on nautical archaeology which aims to protect international heritage. Britain has not yet signed up to the full international convention, but it has formally agreed to follow the guidelines laid down.
As usual, Odyssey knows where the ship is and they ain’t tellin’.
Read the whole story, “Salvage team finds wreck of HMS Victory” at the Guardian.
UPDATE: New York Times article on the subject: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/03/science/03shipwreck.html?hp
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