A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Francis Upchurch
Date: 2016 May 6, 18:31 +0100
You are absolutely correct. I have been an active member of British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) for about 4 5 years .I believe we are the oldest amateur diving club in the world. Whenever we find a historically important wreck (quite often in UK waters), we hand over the management to professional marine archaeologists who run the surveys etc with our free, directed labour! Done plenty of those.
This policy actually followed the less than professional treasure hunt of the HMS Association etc in the 1960s.
In UK waters at least, you can no longer “wreck” the historic “wrecks”. Good news I think.
Kristin Romey at nationalgeographic.com has written a nice summary of the status of this story, throwing cold water on the over-zealous media coverage. The title of the article is "No, Captain Cook's Ship Hasn't Been Found Yet". Read it here. I agree completely with the skepticism in the article.
One further concern not discussed in the article: RIMAP, the "Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project", is an amateur group, primarily a hard-working diving club with high-minded intentions, and the leader of this organization, Kathy Abbass, is not up to the task of advancing this quest. The sort of project that they have described, detailed archaeology of the debris sites, recovery of artifacts, and the construction and management of a conservation center, is well outside the skill set of this group. In addition to the funding which they have sought (the real purpose of their press release), they desperately need a partner with expertise in archaeology and historical preservation. RIMAP --and Kathy Abbass-- must cede authority over the project.
The article notes that this news has been announced before, as far back as 1999, and includes some links. Indeed, we've discussed it here before, too. Almost exactly ten years ago, I wrote in a NavList message:
There has been reasonable speculation by maritime historians for
several years now that one of the ships sunk in 1778 in the blockade of
Newport, Rhode Island during the American Revolution was the "Lord
Sandwich" which had formerly been HMS Endeavour, Captain Cook's famous
ship of exploration. Marine archaeologists have now located the remains
of six 18th century ships in about the place where the blockade ships
would have been scuttled. Maybe one of them is all that is left of the
Endeavour. Unfortunately, with present science, we may never know. But
it's fun anyway...
Conanicut Island USA