From the BBC:
Hundreds of people have been removing timber washed up on to beaches
in Kent despite warnings to stay away.
Large amounts of wood washed ashore on the coastline around Ramsgate
and Margate after the Russian-registered Sinegorsk shed its load, off
Police, coastguards and the local authority warned scavengers to stay
for their own safety and to allow the official clean-up to take
But a constant stream of people braved pouring rain to remove loads of
One told the BBC he did not know what he would do with the timber but
it was "too good an opportunity to miss".
Another said he would clad an outbuilding if he could take away
otherwise he would build a tree house for his children.
I live too far (California), but if you are near this beach, go for
Anxiously awaiting our resident Bored Borg to comment on yet another
example of nanny-statism run amok. Not quite as bad as the outrage at
people *gasp* taking their kids out onto the ice on frozen ponds, but
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
On Sun, 25 Jan 2009 01:34:06 +0000, Mark & Juanita wrote
Well, in this case I'm with the authorities.
The timber was not jettisoned or discarded as "no longer required". It was
lost in a big wet car-crash. It is still very clearly the properties of the
shipping company until all insurance matters have been settled and its
removal is equally clearly theft.
<rant supplied for your amusement>
The safety issue is a red herring chucked in by the Gestapo/Politbureau and
their propoganda machine. IF the wood had been dumpage or jetsam then I'm
sure they would probably still issue daft warnings just because the state
here enjoys controlling people as much as possible but I'm positive it's not
from a standpoint of public safety (If the authorities cared a jot about
public safety they would prosecute drivers for speeding all over the
sidewalks outside schools, for example.)
No, the control is for its own sake and also because the wealthy property
owner always and automatically seems to warrant state/police protection in
direct proportion to the difference in their wealth between anyone else in
the equation. Legal judgments often overturn this balance (well, sometimes)
but the default position is definitely "protect the rich from everybody
</rant supplied for your amusement>
It's a crying shame that all the damn timber which is not looted will
probably end up wasted anyway.. rotted and waterlogged, lost out to sea again
or otherwise rendered useless so irrespective of the legal position it's
heartwarming to see some of it being put to good use. Unfortunately I suspect
that much of what is being removed is being removed for resale rather than
for direct use - there are reports of lorry loads being taken away. I wonder
what will become of _those_?
What is more interesting is that no-one is being stopped from removing
anything, just criticized, so the police, as usual, are "doing things" but
only on paper.
What is needed is for volunteers, or volunteers contracted to be paid later,
to get everything up above the high water mark and, ideally, under cover so
that losses can be minimized. The local authorities of each flotsam area
should be organising this immediately. Ultimately they will have clear
beaches in time for the tourist season so why not do it now when it can do
some good? Maybe even a good bit of exercise for the military and local
conservation groups to help out with the manpower.
Of course this will NOT happen. All the wood will be rendered useless or lost
and then insurance premiums - and therefor future shipping costs - will rise.
Ultimately the cost will be borne by the end consumer who picks up wood from
his local timber merchants and finds the price has rocketed in because it has
factored into it the cost of the previous lost shipment.
Not sure that is true. Maritime salvage rules and right of recovery are a
pretty strange set of laws.
BTW, my comment previously was not intended to advocate theft but was
aimed at the published "public safety" reason given for people to not pick
up that wood.
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
It is call Flotsam and probably "pure salvage" by definition. Salvage laws
will cover that. The property must be in peril, the services must be
rendered voluntarily (no duty to act), and finally the salvage must be
successful in whole or in part.
It may even be condoned as cleaning up an environmental hazard. The
cargo will be covered by insurance and even if recovered will not be sold to
the original customer since it is damaged.
According to CNN.com, the law says individuals can take the wood, but
must document exactly what they have taken and must not use or alter
the wood for one year in case there is a claim by the owner. The
video on CNN.com showed people sawing the wood up so it would fit into
their small euro cars (guess there are not a lot of pickup trucks like
here in TX).
Since the wood is waterlogged, I guess stack and sticker for a year is
a pretty good idea.
Yep. I don't know what the full law says, but seems to me that a
reasonable law (yeah, right!) would give the former owner a
reasonable amount of time to try to recover their property, unless
it poses a health hazard.
If the stuff is currently being washed up, they obviously haven't
been given a reasonable amount of time to try to make a recovery.
I still like the WWII movie "Tight Little Island" wherein the islanders
run out of whiskey. Then a ship founders of the island and when the men
find out that the cargo is whiskey they board and save as much of the
cargo as they can. Then the fun starts: They have to keep it away from
As I said elsewhere "Pay your VAT"
On Tue, 27 Jan 2009 14:28:18 -0600, "David G. Nagel"
I recognised the plot which was based on a real event, but not the
title. Wikipedia came to the rescue.
It's title everywhere but the US is Whisky Galore!- except in France
where it's called Whisky a Go Go.
Veering off tangentially o the original subject; Many years ago I was
wreck diving off the New Jersey coast and went inside a small ship
that contained thousands of wooden beams and timbers. My goal then
was to catch lobsters and look for junk to bring back home. The ship
had been down for more than 40 years and was in about 90 to 110 feet.
I caught two lobsters in a hold that contained the beams and when I
steamed them at home the kitchen smelled of creosote. My guess is
that the "bugs" (our affectionate term for lobsters) were survivnig
amongst construction timbers preserved with crosote and incorporating
some of the chemical(s) in thier tissues. Never did eat those two
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