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Maritime Legacies and the Law

Effective Legal Governance of WWI Wrecks

Craig Forrest

The recent centenary of WWI has prompted a shift in the way attention is focused on legacy shipwrecks. This timely book considers the development of the laws that apply to these wrecks and the issues that surround them, and deftly analyses the adequacy of the existing legal framework to fulfil its promise of protecting legacy wrecks for future generations as historical and archaeological resources, memorials and, most importantly, as maritime war graves.
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Chapter 5: Legacy wrecks as threats

Craig Forrest


Chapter 5 considers the threats posed by legacy wrecks, as a navigational hazard, a pollution hazard and a threat to health and safety given the munitions and dangerous cargo that may have been aboard the legacy wreck when it sank. The legal regimes that apply to the elimination of such hazards in territorial waters and those that pose a threat to a State but lie beyond its territorial waters is explained and explored. The chapter considers the approach taken to these wrecks where the wreck has no commercial salvage value, and thus is not addressed directly through traditional admiralty law of salvage, or where the legacy value prevents salvage, but necessitates addressing the hazard.

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