Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Driftwood is it theft ?

The salvaging of the Russian wood from the foreshore has certainly opened up some opinion both for and against, with those against resorting to direct insults. The national media has resorted to the use of the word “scavengers” and on a previous posting one anon even refers to the “low life Thanet”. I just find it incredible that passions can run high over what is nothing more than driftwood. To be honest I cannot see what their problem is and as far as I am concerned someone taking driftwood is fair game. Such comments like this are typical of this middle class opinion that runs through the Southeast of England and is nothing more than snobbery, come to think of it the only thing we in Thanet have in common with the rest of the Southeast is geography. People who live inland just do not understand coastal ways and historically salvaging is something that has gone on for centuries and will carry on for many more. Maritime law can be a complex thing but the right to salvage is not illegal.

On another point, Thanet District Council, the Police and Coastguards did exactly what they should do in times like this and put public safety first . It was important to clear Ramsgate beach first as TDC had a duty of care for the outer marina in Ramsgate Harbour, just imagine the outcome if all that wood had ended up in the outer marina.

As far as I am concerned it is up to the individual what they do regarding the wood providing it is not motivated by greed.


Anonymous said...

The problem with the British is people don't like seeing what others can't get or have, its called envy. Part of it is also down to snobbery too. What have we on the coast got in common with someone living in Cheam for instance?

Anonymous said...

Copper: How much timber are you making off with Thanet chav ?

Thanet Chav: A shedful mate

Richard brief visit from retirement hope you and family are well Beachcomber.

I hope anyone being chased by police about the timber from Copper Beach at least wades into the sea to make the plod get their tootsies wet to effect an arrest.

And who are they to talk about wasteful use of timber ? For a century and half a truncheon was a single piece of wood with a leather thong (yeah that offers possibilities for seasiode postcard humour)

How many trees in the Amazon basin had to be sacrificed to give police another bit of chippie wood at right angles to make the truncheon into a side handled baton ? Prima Donnas. They do not have a power of arrest for a person removing that timber as the offence starts with failure to report its possession to the Receiver of Wreck. Stick a Wickes label on very piece and get the receiver of wreck to try to identify it as the wreck load.

Power to the people.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Annon 18:10 my thoughts entirely, I thought it was great how everybody helped each other and how orderely everthing was.
Where I was a lorry got stuck in the sand and everybody stopped what they were doing to help dig him out.

Hello Richard, thanks for the little snippet "the offence starts with failure to report its possession to the Receiver of Wreck" I take it that those who salvaged wood for the fire now have got 28 days to use it up.

Bertie Biggles said...

As a tax-payer I am happy to have individuals exercising their right under the law to salvage from the shore after a wreck or mis-hap at sea. In circumstances where timber is immersed for a few days or so in salt water, one can only assume that the insurers realise it's value is below the recovery costs and a quick statement that they will make no claim to it would serve everyone's interests, Will TDC clean-up squads have to remove and store it until it is written off and do they have to notify the 'Receiver of Wrecks' just as private individuals are required to do? The more that is cleared and quickly reduces the risks the wood poses to other marine craft.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Bertie, some people are now picking up the broken pieces just for burning, that is all it is really fit for now .
You are right the main issue is marine safety and safety in general. In a way it is like a clean up operation after an oil slick. I know I am critical of TDC in some areas but credit is where credit is due and TDC have made safety their number one issue.

Anonymous said...

Well most of the old cottages in historic parts of Thanet were built out of flint and shipwrecked timber. The only difference is hundreds of years ago fires would be lit on the beaches to act as false beacons which caused the ships to run aground. I have never seen so many complete strangers all chatting to each other and helping each other out down at Joss Bay yesterday, even though salvaging each length of wood was extremely tiring. What I cannot understand is why the owner of the Cafe at Joss Bay didn't open. Surely a missed opportunity as we were all commenting that we would have loved a cup of coffee and something to eat (especially the lads down from London and Sittingbourne).

Anonymous said...

The definition of theft is
"dishonestly appropriate the property of another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it"

Nearly everyone down at Joss Bay yesterday had their downloadable slip of paper already filled in and ready to submit to the Receiver of Wrecks within the specified 28 days.

There was absolutely nothing dishonest about the actions of these individuals who agreed that they would salvage and store the wood on behalf of the owner, with no INTENTION to permanently deprive the owner of it (unless of course the owner no longer wanted damaged wood!)

Tony Beachcomber said...

Annon 13:32, for your information the Northern Belle public house was renovated with timber from the "Northern Belle" an American Barque which was wrecked off Kingsgate on 6th January 1857, the pub was foremerly known as the Watermans Arms.Also some of the timber used to build the scenic railway was salvaged from Southend Pier. When Margate Jetty was downed in January 1978 the main sands was a heap of timber and this was put to good use by local people. A piece of Margate Pier is in the Center as a street ornament, so salvaging from the sea is something that has always happened.
As for lighting false beacons off Thanet that it is incorrect, Thanet has a reputation for saving life at sea not taking it.
The practice of light false beacons happened on the Scilly Isles centuries ago with the intention of driving ships onto offshore reefs.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Annon 13:39, organised salvaging is a profitable business. Historically, the Cobb empire of brewing and banking in Margate made lots of money in the early 1800's from shipping and salvaging at time when goods were trnasport by sea.
I expect the lorries and people from outside the area are in it for the money, but locals are only there for a bit of wood which on the scale of things is only a drop in the Ocean.

ascu75 aka Don said...

Send the Receiver of Wrecks a bill for storage and see how you get on.