The Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 (1986 c. 35) is an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom which provides protection for the wreckage of military aircraft and designated military vessels. The Act provides for two types of protection: protected places and controlled sites. Military aircraft are automatically protected but vessels have to be specifically designated. The primary reason for designation is to protect as a 'war grave' the last resting place of UK servicemen (or other nationals), however, the act does not require the loss of the vessel to have occurred during war.
There have been four statutory instruments designating wrecks under the Act, in 2002 (amended 2003), 2006, 2008 and 2009. Twelve wrecks are designated as controlled sites, on which diving is banned. These twelve vessels (including one German submarine), all lost on military service, provide a small representative sample of all such vessels. All other vessels that meet the criteria of the act are subject to a rolling programme of assessment and those that meet the criteria will be designated as protected places. The order that is currently in force, since February 2010, designates 55 wrecks as protected places. This means that diving is allowed but divers must follow the rule of look, don't touch.
Read more about Protection Of Military Remains Act 1986: Protection Under The Act, Protection of Aircraft, Criteria For Designation of Wrecks, History of Designations Under The Act, List of Designations Under The Act, See Also
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