Salvaging and preservation

(File photo) Swedish Coast guard apprehended divers in the process of plundering protected shipwrecks.

Four divers charged with systematic plunder of protected wrecks in the Baltic

The Swedish Coast Guard apprehended the divers in July 2020, as they were found retrieving artifacts from a wreck off the Baltic island of Öland. A subsequent house search uncovered a large number of objects, which were suspected to originate from wrecks classified as protected. Among the objects was an iron cannon dated to the 17th century.

The indictment includes ten charges for incidents during a number of dives that took place from 2013 to 2020. Two of the men stand charged on all counts. 

Diver holding Longquan ware. Photo credit: ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.
Diver holding Longquan ware. Photo credit: ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

Salvage operation leads to large haul of blue-and-white porcelain

In 2015, commercial and salvage diver Ahmad Qamarulhazman was clearing debris underwater near Pedra Branca island, 24 nautical miles east of Singapore, after two bulk loader cranes that were in danger of toppling were blown up.

On his final dive of the operation, he spotted something wedged between rocks 8m deep. His trained eye told him that it was not something natural, but it was tough to see what it was as it was encrusted with algae, molluscs and organisms. 

Portuguese treasure wreck gives picture of lives of early explorers

“This is a cultural treasure of immense importance,” Bruno Werz said when offering journalists a first glimpse of the precious find at the excavation site in Namibia’s diamond-rich ‘no-go zone’. Werz is leading a team of archeologists and geologists from Namibia, the United States, Portugal, South Africa and Zimbabwe in excavating the ship. The wreck has been described as the best-preserved example of early Portuguese ships found outside of Portugal. It’s good state of preservation being attributed its long burial in sand, which preserves wood.