Lore of the Wreckers
by Shepard, Birse
pub. by Beacon Press, Boston   1916   pub in Canada by J. Reginald Saunders, Toronto.      isbn -none- LCCN - 61-6221 - - 278 p. - maps on endpages, appendices, bibliography, index,
Wrecking is what is now called Marine Salvage. Nowdays it is the work of specially built strongly built ocean going tugs responding to radioed messages from vessels in distress at sea. The time period covered by this book (roughly 1200 through 1898) marine salvage was called wrecking, and was carried out mostly after a vessel had come to grief on a shore or reef. There is a chapter on the law pertaining to what to do with items found from ships which have lost their cargo either by jettisoning (throwing it overboard) or by actually being wrecked on a shore. Most often it was not -finders keepers-. The area described in this book is the North Atlantic. Some of the older stories come from England and France, but most of the book details wrecking in what is now USA, and actually it probably grew out of the authors knowledge of Key West and the area between the southern tip of Florida, USA, the Bahamas and Cuba.
I picked this book up from a used book sale as a curiosity, and am glad I did. It is an interesting read. The idea of using sailing vessels to salvage other sailing vessels in stormy conditions stretches the mind... especially of one who has had some experience sailing.
~ 2010-05-25~

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