Two submarines, a WWI mine trawler and a medieval fishing boat have been protected under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973.
The earliest of these wrecks - known as "the Axe Boat" - emerged from the mud on the west side of the Axe River in south Devon in 2001. The wood has been dated, indicating it was built somewhere between 1400 and 1640. It is thought that this boat would have been used for fishing or trading.
Jane Maddocks, British Sub Aqua Club Underwater Heritage Adviser, Jane Maddocks has welcomed the protection of these wrecks.
”These new protected wrecks are still diveable by divers who have a licence. They are important examples of their type, and this protection should mean they are going to last that much longer.” – Jane Maddocks
With the addition of the Arfon and the other three wrecks, the total number of protected wrecks in UK waters to 52.
It is now a criminal offence to dive on these newly protected wrecks without a licence. Anyone looking to dive on these wrecks will need to obtain the correct licence from Historic England.
To find out about getting a licence to dive any of these wrecks contact Alison James