Merchant Shipping Act, 1894

Removal of wreck by harbour or conservancy authority.

530. Where any vessel is sunk, stranded, or abandoned in any harbour or tidal water under the control of a harbour or conservancy authority, or in or near any approach thereto, in such manner as in the opinion of the authority to be, or be likely to become, an obstruction or danger to navigation or to lifeboats engaged in lifeboat service in that harbour or water or in any approach thereto, that authority may—

(a) take possession of, and raise, remove, or destroy the whole or any part of the vessel; and

(b) light or buoy any such vessel or part until the raising, removal, or destruction thereof; and

(c) sell, in such manner as they think fit, any vessel or part so raised or removed, and also any other property recovered in the exercise of their powers under this section, and out of the proceeds of the sale reimburse themselves for the expenses incurred by them in relation thereto under this section, and the authority shall hold the surplus, if any, of the proceeds in trust for the persons entitled thereto.

Provided as follows:—

(1) A sale shall not (except in the case of property which is of a perishable nature, or which would deteriorate in value by delay) be made under this section until at least seven clear days notice of the intended sale has been given by advertisement in some local newspaper circulating in or near the district over which the authority have control; and

(2) At any time before any property is sold under this section, the owner thereof shall be entitled to have the same delivered to him on payment to the authority of the fair market value thereof, to be ascertained by agreement between the authority and the owner, or failing agreement by some person to be named for the purpose by the Board of Trade, and the sum paid to the authority as the value of any property under this provision shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to be the proceeds of sale of that property.