April 12: LUSITANIA and The ENDEAVOUR discussion

Published by Kathy Abbass on Friday, 16th February 2018 - 4:29PM in RIMAP Archives of Past Events



Thursday April 12 -- 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Senate Chambers, Old State House, 150 Benefit St., Providence, RI (currently the offices of the RI Historical Preservation Commission)

Organized and sponsored by the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP)


Greetings: Charlotte Taylor, M.A. (Marine Archaeologist, RI State Preservation Commission)

The legal/ethical positions:

Michael J. Daly, J.D. (for the laws of salvage and finds, etc.)

Mr. Daly is a partner with Pierce Atwood in Providence, practicing admiralty law. In addition to representing clients in commercial salvage and other maritime cases, he has published on the legal principles governing commercial salvage operations and how those principals relate to historic shipwreck preservation efforts.

John Broadwater, Ph.D. (for the archaeologists and other preservationists)

Dr. Broadwater is the retired Director of the Monitor project and early in his career did the study of the Yorktown transport fleet, similar to RIMAP's own study of the Newport transports. He is an articulate advocate for the archaeological positions related to the protection of submerged cultural resources such as shipwrecks.

The "case studies" -- two shipwrecks using the same salvage laws for different purposes:

F. Gregg Bemis, Jr. MBA (for the Lusitania)

Mr. Bemis secured the salvage rights to the Lusitania more than 40 years ago. After the Irish offshore territorial boundaries expanded to include this ship, Ireland used preservation laws to limit his access to his property. This has resulted in a protracted legal wrangle and is a classic case of the private property vs. preservation issues that affect both research and recovery.

The Hon. Sheldon Whitehouse, J.D. (for the Endeavour)

Senator Whitehouse, at the time RI Attorney General, took a salvage award, and later established ownership for RI of the Newport transport fleet that included the Endeavour. RIMAP's studies of that fleet continue under archaeological permit, and his legal maneuvers set a precedent for how salvage laws may also protect historic shipwrecks.

Discussion, Question and Answers:

Moderator: D. K. (Kathy) Abbass, Ph.D. (Executive Director & Principal Investigator, RIMAP)

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