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Debate: Shipwreck Looters, right or wrong?


BnB Co-Founder ~ Retired
Aug 31, 2006
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What compels hundreds of otherwise law-abiding people to descend on a beach and make off with a stash of seemingly useless plunder?

Steering wheels, seatbelt components, air bags, foreign language bibles - these are just some of the goods to have been carted off from Branscombe beach in Devon by scavengers.

While the morals of slipping away with a brand new BMW motorbike or a cask of wine are questionable, the logic is at least clear.


What would you do if you lived near this incident?

Take the loot? Volunteer your help with the clean up? Shop someone for looting?
I would definitely volunteer to help clear up. Not that I am a good person, but I love cleaning!!!!!!! :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

And I love scavenging through things, but wouldn't have the bottle to take anything! :oops:
Ahh ya see its a grey area this, as it is legal to take things that are washed up as long as you fill in a form stateing what you have taking, so if the people who it belongs to claim it you have to by law give it back, if it is unclaimed it is yours
It turns to looting/theft if you take things without notifying the the police

I don't think i would be able to bring myself to take things as someof it was peoples personal belongings and i think it turned when people where breaking open containers, i don't think that can be classed as salvage at all

I would be down there with my wellies on helping to clear up :)
Wrong, the vandalism some of them have caused is disgusting. I don't know where some people get off mindlessly setting fires etc.
Isn't it sad that some people have lost their personal belongings?

I don't know whether you saw that Norweigan woman on TV. She was watching and saw her crate open on the beach and people chucking stuff about and taking things like pictures her Father had painted. They were relocating and all their belongings were in there, a lot of it irreplaceable and of great sentimental value.

It's really wrong, if you ask me.
It truley disturbed me, and eventho its big companies items and they will be insured for this, never in a month of sundays would I take a 12 k bike, or anything for that matter.

I have a conscience and was raised with the view, u want anything in life, you have to work/pay for it.

I would feel like I was stealing.

It was like watching vultures :roll:
I would have gone down there, found some good bits, registered them with the police and accepted them as mine in 28 days.

I expect that the owners will claim on insurance rather than recover the stock.

Therefore if not registered the insurance company will demand recovery (but doubtful within 28days), registered stuff they'll take on the chin!
I saw this on the news last night. Would be mighty tempting if I saw a car on the beech with the keys in it and knew it was ok for me to take it if you know what I meen. But I would feel so guilty if I did. Im the kind of person that turns things in if I find it. Like Im the Daddy said.....Turn it in and then claim it if the owners did not. But even if I did take, I would also clean up. CRAZY STUFF!!!!!
I think it depends in what it is, if its clearly personal belongings Iwould hand them into the police. so the owners have some chance of getting them back. But thats because they have sentimental value. As for company stock, they dont give a shit, they dont want it back damaged, they will just stick in an insurance scheme. At the end of the day, its sort of like compensation for the people who live there, who for a while are going to be deprived of their beach while the clean up operation takes place, and they will have to suffer the long term and imediate effects of the oil and chemical spills there.

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