Wave Shape
Wave Shape

Wreck Champions by Jane Maddocks

Waves Shape
When 11th March
Event Wreck Champions by Jane Maddocks
Time 19:30 - 21:00
Location The Rowing Club, Splashpoint, Worthing, West Sussex


Worthing BSAC is delighted to welcome Jan Maddocks as our guest speaker on the 11th March at Worthing Rowing Club. Jane is going to talk about the importance of Wreck Champions and how we at Worthing BSAC can potentially get involved.  A warm welcome awaits for any club members who would like to come along.  The invitation is also open to others outside the club.  Please get in touch with Roger Clarke for guest invites to the event at diving@worthingbsac.co.uk  . Booking is essential for everyone that wants to attend so we have an idea of numbers.

In a recent SCUBA magazine article, Jane Maddocks highlighted the role of BSAC divers in monitoring and protecting historic shipwrecks. Historic England has been scheduling important wrecks as Monuments of National Importance under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Area Act 1979 (AMAA 79). The act now actively covers historic shipwrecks, allowing divers to access these sites without specific permission. However, interference with the wrecks, such as moving or removing artifacts, requires consultation with Historic England.

Jane had been emphasising the need for diver involvement in monitoring and updating information on these scheduled ancient monuments. While some wreck sites have designated caretakers, others lack a formal structure for annual checks. To address this gap, Jane proposes the appointment of “Wreck Champions” – divers who would commit to diving a scheduled wreck at least once a year and submitting a brief form about their observations.

Since the application of scheduling to wrecks in recent years, 29 have been scheduled, a significant number considering there are only 57 protected sites since the 1973 Act. Unlike wrecks protected under the ’73 Act, scheduled wrecks lack an appointed licensee and a formal mechanism for annual checks. Maddocks aims to create a network of Wreck Champions to fill this void.

She also extends the initiative beyond Historic England’s scheduled wrecks, expressing a desire to include sites protected under the Protection of Military Remains Act. Maddocks seeks permission from the Ministry of Defence for divers to conduct ‘swim-over’ reports on Protected Places, with the goal of creating an archive from these reports.

Additionally, Maddocks calls for divers to research and report their expenses when diving on protected sites, including mileage, boat costs, and gas. This information is crucial to demonstrate the financial contributions and savings volunteers make in preserving these sites. Maddocks invites interested individuals to become Wreck Champions and contribute to this effort by contacting her via email at heritage@bsac.com.

The above is a summary of information found in BSAC Scuba Magazine posted 2nd Aug 2023

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