Sunken vessels

Essay by therelstnigah23Junior High, 9th gradeA, November 2006

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There have been many accidents regarding sunken vessels. In today's society these wrecks are a lot more accessible, so there are numerous debates on whether underwater searches for sunken vessels should be allowed, scientists and not treasure hunters. Many feel that scientists should be the only people that can search for sunken vessels.

Treasure hunting has increased a great deal over many years. Entrepreneurs try to make money by the heaps, searching for sunken vessels. There are still million of ships that lie submerged in the oceans waters. The latest equipment like better diving gear and aquatic robots make the deepest depths of the ocean reachable. John Lawrence said "there are no depths of the ocean that are unavailable to anyone who wants them." This is actually true, but it is immoral. Third world countries even grant search rights to people that will be in their waters as long as they can get a cut of the loot.

Cuba recently granted Canadian companies, Visa Gold resources and Terrawest companies permission to search its waters. This is a corrupt idea; this is one reason that only scientists should be able to search for sunken vessels. Spectacular finds mount each year so it is not really known what is found in wrecks, such as in the Turkish city of Cesme, the Tektas Burnu was found. This was a B.C. shipwreck and the origin was unknown. If scientists were able to excavate the ship they might have concrete evidence of where it came from and they would know a lot more about B.C. ships.

Another reason treasure hunters should be banned from finding treasure is because they don't know the historical and actual value of the items they find. Anything that is not shiny is usually thrown overboard. This is the most awful thing that that anyone can do, not only are they throwing away artifacts that are not known about, but they are throwing away artifacts that can potentially highly sought after. Such as in the case of the DeBraak in 1798, the treasure hunters threw a navy stove overboard. This stove was one of the only two still left in existence, and when scientists finally got to the ship and tried to raise it in 1986 an avalanche of objects fell out of the boat, to be forever lost. Another instance of this was the Somers, hunters had ripped open the stern and looted guns, swords, and the ships chronometer. This completely debilitated the ship, there is no reason to excavate a ship that has nothing in it. Many treasure hunters are not careful with what they are doing, they just want they valuables and leave the ship or vessel in total chaos, these types of artifacts should be protected not destroyed. An additional reason ships should be only salvaged by scientists is because the internet has totally cut museums obtaining precious relics, they cannot be appreciated by all people now. The internet allows salvors to move treasures without the museums seal of approval, and now an individual person can own a part of history. The Brother Jonathan found in 1993 had held coins that netted 5.3 million dollars from an auction. These kind of auctions are not approved by scientists. They did not have a chance to study these coins and where they were from.

An additional way scientists trying to stop treasure hunters are the laws that are being put into effect. The United Nations Educational ,Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is discussing that if would outlaw the commercial salvage of any shipwreck more than onehunered years old. There is also talk that they will return the salvaged artifacts to the country they were found in. The treasure hunters were outraged at UNESCO, so they formed their own organization called the Institute of Marine Archeaological Conservation (IMAC). But even if the outlaw of commercial salvaging is passed it is seriously doubted how effectively the government can police the quarters of the earths surface.

Sunken vessels are very important to science and the study of past civilizations. Instead of letting these artifacts and the ships get destroyed we should explore them and save them. These artifacts can be worth a lot of money, just as long as there is no personal gain from these types of searches. The only reason for treasure hunters trying to find treasure is for personal gain which is money. This is the wrong reason for doing this, people should do it because it is enjoyable. So this is why treasure hunting should be outlawed and underwater searches for sunken vessels illegal unless it is conducted for scientific purposes.