As regular readers of the MAG blog will know, the wreck of HMS Victory, the third ship of that name and known as “Balchin’s Victory” after the Admiral who commanded it, was recently discovered in the English Channel, outside UK territorial waters. The wreck was found and identified by the US salvage company Odyssey Marine Exploration. They seek to recover the valuable cargo that they claim was being carried on board the ship. Their announcement of the discovery generated considerable media interest, largely as a result of these claims. Following its discovery by Odyssey, UNESCO has called for action to be taken to preserve the site.
The wreck has since been the subject of a desk-based archaeological assessment and geophysical survey carried out for the UK government.
Now the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has issued a public consultation paper on the possible future management approaches for the Victory site. The consultation document can be found on the DCMS website.
This is undoubtedly an important consultation and the decisions subsequently taken may have significant implications for the management, study and protection of maritime archaeological sites outside of UK territorial waters. It is therefore very important that MAG and its members should make their views known. Members can do this by posting a reply on this blog or by e-mailing the committee (messages sent to your editor will be circulated) and by responding directly to DCMS as an individual.
The consultation closes on 30th June.