Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Divers pay hefty fines for looting Scapa Flow shipwrecks

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Word to the wise: Don’t try making off with pieces from sunken warships in a historical underwater site. It’ll cost you a good chunk of change.

A British and American diver recently were each fined £18,000/US$22,529/21,488 Euros for having taken historical artifacts from scuttled World War I German warships off Scapa Flow, Scotland.

Sixty-seven-year-old Gordon Meek from Glasgow and 48-year-old Robert Infante from New Jersey, USA were allegedly seen by divers in another dive charter boat lifting a bag of rusty stuff into their charter boat four years ago. The witnesses contacted the authorities and Meek and Infante were met by police when they docked. On them, the two divers had a bulkhead lantern, a ship’s telephone, a steam pressure gauge and other items. When they appeared in court, both men pled guilty.

The convictions are the first time such sentences were handed down under the 1979 “Ancient Monuments & Archaeological Areas Act.”

Kirkwall Sheriff Andrew Berry told DiverNet:

“If nothing else, I hope the fines I am imposing will convince other divers that to break the law in this way might be an expensive exercise.”

Check out the full story at DiverNet.com.

A ship's telephone from the Scapa Flow was one of the items looted from the ship. (Photo credit: Historic Environment Scotland)
A ship’s telephone from the Scapa Flow was one of the items looted from the ship. (Photo credit: Historic Environment Scotland)
SourceDiverNet
John Lianghttps://www.deeperblue.com/
John Liang is the News Editor at DeeperBlue.com. He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.

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