MAG Bulletin copy deadline; European Maritime Day Stakeholder Conference; 2nd International Symposium on Occupational Scientific Diving; Funding cuts





MAG Bulletin copy deadline


Members are reminded that the copy deadline for the next MAG Bulletin is 8 May. If you wish to submit material for the Bulletin, please contact Mark Littlewood asap. Please let Mark know if your article or news is likely to be a few days late – it isn’t normally a problem.


Contributions from all members are very much welcomed.


European Maritime Day Stakeholder Conference


Is to be held in Rome on 18-20 May. Workshop 2 on 19 May is entitled ‘Raising awareness of common maritime heritage as a cultural pillar of the integrated maritime policy’. It features a number of speakers, including Catherine Perepelytsya of Medway Council.


2nd International Symposium on Occupational Scientific Diving


Takes place from the 6-8 October 2009 and is being hosted by the University of Helsinki in Finland.


Funding cuts


As a result of last week’s budget, DCMS is expected to save £168m over the next three years. This and the projected local government ‘efficiency savings’ may be bad news for those seeking government funding of maritime heritage projects.


ACHWS; Our Seas – a shared resource: High level Marine Objectives; Scottish discussion paper; British Archaeology focuses on the marine sector; First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage; BS8478; Seasearch latest; ALSF-MEPF






The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is seeking to appoint people with the necessary blend of expertise and experience to fill the following posts on the UK’s Advisory Committee for Historic Wreck Sites: Post 1: Local Authority Archaeologist, Post 2:  Maritime Archaeologist (Academic) & Post 3:  Finds Conservator.


The deadline for applications is 6 May 2009, with interviews being held on 16 June.


If you are interested in applying for one of these posts, contact Mark Greenwood of the Public Appointments Team at DCMS, 2/4 Cockspur Street, London SW1.


Our Seas – a shared resource: High level Marine Objectives


The UK’s High Level Marine Objectives have been published today. These articulate the outcomes sought by the UK Government and Devolved Administrations in the UK marine area. They also underpin the development of the joint Marine Policy Statement which is provided for in the Marine and Coastal Access Bill.


They can be downloaded as a pdf from the DEFRA website.


Scottish discussion paper


The Scottish discussion paper, ‘Towards a Strategy for Scotland’s Marine Historic Environment’ is now available on the Historic Scotland website.


British Archaeology focuses on the marine sector


As both the Westminster and Scottish parliaments debate marine bills, the current issue of British Archaeology presents a major focus on the world of underwater and shipwreck archaeology. It includes Odyssey Marine Exploration’s controversial case that the wreck of HMS Victory is being destroyed by dredging, and a strong critique of the commercial exploitation of maritime heritage. Other features look at the Swash Channel wreck near Poole and the rich but overlooked potential of former dry-land sites that are now submerged beneath the sea.


Go to British Archaeology’s website for further details.


First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage


A report on this meeting, which took place on 26-27 March, is now available on the UNESCO website.




MAG Blog understands that at the last Diving Industry Committee meeting, concerns were raised about the potential implications for the recreational industry of BS 8478 – Respiratory Protective Devices – Breathing Gases for Diving and Hyperbaric Applications.


A European standard (EN) is now being drafted which encompasses the details of this British Standard. This draft EN will be discussed at the next BSI meeting on 27 April 2009. The HSE is urging DIC committee members with concerns to ensure that their respective representatives on the BSI committee are briefed accordingly so that their views are adequately addressed in the drafting process.


Seasearch latest


Seasearch’s latest newsletter can be downloaded from their website.




Will be at Lowestoft Airshow this year, on 23-4 July.

Logboats enhanced; Marine Scotland launched; Sound of Mull fieldschool; Black Swan; A better protected wreck?




Logboats enhanced


EH has completed an enhancement of the NMR’s existing logboat database. A very brief report on the results of this enhancement can be downloaded from the EH website. More than half of the logboats discovered in England to date have subsequently been lost or destroyed.


Marine Scotland launched

A new marine organisation, Marine Scotland, was launched last week. It will have responsibility for planning and managing the resources of Scotland’s seas, including the marine historic environment. The current functions of fisheries Research Services (FRS), the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency (SFPA) and the Scottish Government’s Marine Directorate have been brought together in this new organisation.

Further details of this new resource can be found on the Scottish Government website.


Sound of Mull fieldschool


The Nautical Archaeology Society will be running a 12 day fieldschool on underwater archaeology in July. Based at the Lochaline Dive Centre in the Sound of Mull, the course will be taught by experienced maritime archaeologists including such luminaries as Dr Colin Martin. The course is supported by Historic Scotland and further details can be obtained from the NAS website.


Black Swan


Odyssey Marine Exploration’s ‘’ is advertising the sale of reproductions of some of the coins recovered from the shipwreck site that they are calling ‘The Black Swan’. OME claim to have salvaged half a million coins from this highly controversial site, which has been the subject of ongoing litigation in the US courts involving the Spanish government.


A better protected wreck?


Archaeologists are reported to have recovered a unique 100 year old dugout canoe from an alligator lagoon at St Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park in St Augustine, USA.

MAG AGM reminder; Theft convictions; Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Surveys; The Rising Tide; Thames Discovery Programme news; MAD about Swash again; Court to decide on the fate of Titanic artefacts; Emergency recompression for divers; MV City of Rayville; The Ghostwreck; General Carleton






MAG AGM reminder


The MAG AGM will take place on Wednesday 8th April at the IfA Conference in Torquay. It will follow the MAG session and is expected to run from 12:45-13:00. The AGM will be chaired by Julie Satchell who is standing in for the unavailable Virginia Dellino-Musgrave, who sends her apologies.


Theft convictions


Three British divers have been convicted of illegally removing artefacts from the wreck of the Don Pedro off Galicia in Spain. They received suspended prison sentences.


Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Surveys

This English Heritage programme has been developed to provide the evidence base for management of the coastal historic environment in England, providing information that can feed into Shoreline Management Plans, besides being useful for development control and academic research.  Surveys have been completed, or are in progress, for most of the English coast, apart from south-west England.  A background to the surveys and all reports completed so far are available on


It is intended that the basic data-sets will also be made available through the Archaeological Data Service, but for the time being only results from the most recent surveys are available.


The Rising Tide


Caroline Wickham-Jones and S Dawson have issued an interim report on work carried out on past sea level change in Orkney in 2008-9.


Work in 200910 focuses the investigation of anomalies in the Bay of Firth, the submerged landscape of Longhope and Flotta and further sediment analysis and dating of cores from Stenness, Harray and Waulkmill Bay.


Thames Discovery Programme news


The March-June 2009 Newsletter can now be downloaded.


MAD about Swash again


A leaflet for Bournmouth University’s Maritime Archaeology Day on 2nd May is now available on their website.


Court to decide on the fate of Titanic artefacts


A U.S. District Court is shortly to rule on the fate of 5,900 artefacts salvaged from the wreck of the Titanic.


Emergency recompression for divers


In certain circumstances, diving contractors in the UK must provide on-site emergency recompression facilities, in other words a recompression chamber and personnel competent to operate it and deliver treatment to a casualty.


The HSE is now consulting with various commercial diving industry groups about a possible change in these requirements. This follows a recent Society for Underwater Technology submission to the HSE which suggested that a better average outcome might be achieved if casualties entered the NHS emergency system instead. The information reaching your Update compiler suggests that the industry is broadly supportive of the SUT case, whilst acknowledging that some diving operations will still have to have access to a chamber on-site for immediate emergency use.


MV City of Rayville


The wreck of the first US ship lost in World War II has been found during a project to map the seafloor off the coast off the state of Victoria in Australia.


The Ghostwreck


A short article on the work carried out on this 17th century Baltic wreck is now available on the MACHU website. The MACHU Report No 2 is now also available.


General Carleton


A monograph on the investigation of this 18th century Whitby vessel lost off the Polish coast is now available from the Polish Maritime Museum.