Wrecks, Treasure and Fossils

Discussion in 'Sports and Lifestyle' started by SteveZi, 16 May 2012.

  1. SteveZi

    SteveZi

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    I’ve seen a few old cannons at certain spots I dive.
    Under the National Heritage Resources Act, wreck sites are not to be disturbed.
    My question is: When can a spot be considered a wreck site?
    Also, If I find something valuable(eg, an old anchor, a box of porcelain goods, a bar of gold…) while diving, can I keep it?
    What if I pick up a gold coin on the beach?
    Lastly, are you allowed to collect fossils (like megalodon teeth) while diving, or on the beach?
     
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  3. Reefhead

    Reefhead

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    I am the offical collector of gold bars found by others in the ocean
    I work for the government and all
    So you have to hand over all the gold bars to me ASAP
     
  4. Express Reef

    Express Reef

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    :lol: You must be Malemas friend!
     
  5. richardmatlock

    richardmatlock

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    Um, no, no, no and no.

    As far as my understanding of the NHRA, the act is fairly comprehensive. As far as shipwrecks go - "wrecks, being any vessel or aircraft, or any part thereof, which was
    wrecked in South Africa, whether on land, in the internal waters, the
    territorial waters or in the maritime culture zone of the Republic, as
    defined respectively in sections 3, 4 and 6 of the Maritime Zones Act,
    1994 (Act No. 15 of 1994), and any cargo, debris or artefacts found or
    associated therewith, which is older than 60 years or which SAHRA
    considers to be worthy of conservation; ..."

    are protected. So if the wreck is less than 60 years old, feel free to pick up something (although you still need a salvage permit to legally remove stuff from a wreck). The act also does not just refer to the wreck itself, but includes the cargo, so anything "picked-up on the beach" should be turned into the nearest museum. I've salvaged wrecks in the past, but always with either a salvage permit, or under the governance of a museum.

    As far as fossils go, ...
    "No person may, without a permit issued by the responsible heritage resources
    authority—
    (a) destroy, damage, excavate, alter, deface or otherwise disturb any archaeological or palaeontological site or any meteorite;
    (b) destroy, damage, excavate, remove from its original position, collect or own
    any archaeological or palaeontological material or object or any meteorite;
    (c) trade in, sell for private gain, export or attempt to export from the Republic
    any category of archaeological or palaeontological material or object, or any
    meteorite; or
    (d) bring onto or use at an archaeological or palaeontological site any excavation
    equipment or any equipment which assist in the detection or recovery of
    metals or archaeological and palaeontological material or objects, or use such
    equipment for the recovery of meteorites."

    So megalodon teeth are technically also a no-no.

    So in summation - NO
     
  6. Reefhead

    Reefhead

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    Best Friends
    Was so sad to see him go :p
     
  7. SteveZi

    SteveZi Thread Starter

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    Thanks Richard.
    Pretty much how I interpreted as well.
    Will anybody walk past a meg tooth of 15cm lying on the beach and not pick it up? i don't think so.
    Will anybody hand in a gold coin washed open on a beach? I wonder...:)
    btw I've seen old cannons in people's gardens... surely these fall under the protection of the act and should go to a museum? some of them have been there for ages - no one really seems to care about the law unless there is money involved...
     
  8. ziyaadb

    ziyaadb

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    right u are old chap
     
  9. seank

    seank

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    According to how I interpret the act............ Just keep it quiet and go black market, as for gold, start melting it :p
     
    Last edited: 20 May 2012
  10. richardmatlock

    richardmatlock

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    Or you could focus your efforts on salvaging modern stuff. If the weather's good I make up to R5K diving out fishing sinkers for the lead and if the weather's bad, I beach comb. Here's some of yesterday's haul (50km/h wind for 3 days so beachwalk): -

    [​IMG]
    1 new Zero wetsuit, and some chokka lures. A good R2K of legal salvage.
     
  11. SteveZi

    SteveZi Thread Starter

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    Very ironic that someone lost his ZERO wetsuit.

     
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