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UK shipwrecks to be surveyed

English Heritage has announced that 88 shipwrecks around the British coast dating back before 1840 are to be investigated
Contemporary watercolour of the S.S. Forfarshire steam packet that became the subject of the famous Grace Darling rescue of nine of its passengers and crew early in the morning of 7th September 1838 at the Farne Islands, Northumberland, England
English Heritage  |  English Herittage investigaates pre-1840 shipwrecks    |   07-23-2013
At present, 47 historic boats and ships in England are protected from unauthorised interference.

Over the next few months 88 shipwrecks around the British coast dating back before 1840 are to be investigated by a team of archaeological divers. The divers will submit a full report on all the sites investigated to date to English Heritage who will determine which wrecks, if any, are deemed to be nationally important. Those that meet the criteria will be recommended in a shortlist to Government in the autumn.

The Protection of Wrecks Act (1973) allows the Government to designate a wreck to prevent uncontrolled interference.

In 2012 English Heritage once again audited all designated wreck sites to better understand their condition and vulnerability. As a result, four sites (9%) were deemed to be most at risk and are included on the national Heritage at Risk Register in 2012 - an overall reduction of one since 2010.

Sites that will be investigated more closely include: a possible Tudor wreck on Walney Island near Morecambe Bay; an early barge called a 'Mersey flat' located in the north-west; and the wreck of the 'Forfarshire', a paddle steamer that sank off the coast of Northumberland in 1838 and whose survivors were famously rescued by Grace Darling, an English lighthouse keeper's daughter, and her father.

Further reading ► Protected wrecksites

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