Sovereign immunity for the UB88, too funny.

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Posted by Andy S on July 15, 2010 at 09:27:07:

Sovereign immunity, give me a break or at least find me a real sea lawyer. Read what even the "vested" underwater archeologist had to say; i.e. sovereign immunity does not apply to ships that were “disposed of”. As I understand it, the UB88 was disposed of by the US Navy to comply with the limitations under which she was given to the US as part of the WWI reparations that included disposing of her afterward. I can’t think of a better “specific formal action”…”to dispose of a ship” than sinking itin front of a whole set of dignitaries. The UB88 is not a ship lost/wrecked by maritime disaster or act of war. It was purposely destroyed - sunk, e.g. disposed of by the US Navy after having stripped it of anything of value to the Navy.

As Robert Neyland Head, Underwater Archaeology Branch Naval Historical Center Department has written: “The Department of the Navy retains custody of its ship and aircraft wrecks despite the passage of time and regardless of whether they are lost in U.S., foreign, or international waters. These wrecks are not abandoned, but remain the property of the government until a specific formal action is taken to dispose of them and, thus, are immune from the law of salvage without authorization from the appropriate Navy authorities. This immunity is founded in long-existing, historic principles of maritime law. These properties are not considered "abandoned" in the Abandoned Shipwreck Act of 1987 (43 U.S. C. 2101-2106) and did not transfer to the states with adoption of the Act.”…..“However, I should add the disclaimer that I am an underwater archaeologist, not a lawyer. Therefore, the interpretations provided here are my own personal opinions based on my brief experience with these issues and do not necessarily represent those of the Department of the Navy.”

And there are others beside Max and the original UB88 group who know exactly where the UB88 is so the numbers for it are known “out there”.

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