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in regards to the wood washed up on the beach. is it right to assume that one can take it as long as they declare this so to give the owner the opportunity of collecting it?

asked in law

DragonsDen answers:

Any wreck material found within UK territorial waters (to 12 mile limit), or outside the UK and brought within UK territorial waters must by law be reported to the Receiver of Wreck (under s. 236 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995)
Link: http://www.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/mcga07-home/emergencyresponse/mcga-receiverofwreck/...

All wreck material recovered must be reported, however small or seemingly insignificant. It is up to the Receiver to decide whether it is important.

The wreck and salvage forms are available directly from the Receiver of Wreck, from your local Coastguard station, or you can download the form. Once the form has been completed, signed and witnessed you will need to return it to the Receiver of Wreck office. The Receiver of Wreck will then investigate ownership of the wreck items.

The owner has one year in which to come forward and prove title to the property. During this time, the finder is normally allowed to hold the wreck on indemnity to the Maritime & Coastguard Agency. If the owner decides that they would like their property returned, they will first have to settle salvage with the legal finder of the material.

If wreck material recovered from UK waters is unclaimed at the end of the statutory one year period, it generally becomes the property of the Crown, and the Receiver is required to dispose of it. This may be through sale or auction, although in many cases the finder will be allowed to keep items of unclaimed wreck in lieu of a salvage award.

Link: http://www.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/mcga07-home/emergencyresponse/mcga-receiverofwreck/...

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cryptminder answers:

No you cannot collect it under any circumstances and the police have been warning everyone of this. The wood still remains the property of its rightfull owner even though it is now on a beach.
I presume the local council will ultimately issue a bill to the owner for storage and cleanup costs

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