Salvage operations and underwater activities can be delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, making it necessary to plan in advance so alternate arrangements are easier to make. The Portland Press Herald recently reported on a New England shipwreck excavation that was canceled because of funding issues. Sea Hunters, owned by Greg Brooks, previously looked into the wreck of the SS Port Nicholson.
The ship reportedly sank in 1942, 50 miles off of the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and has been a subject of interest for Brooks for several years. However, it appears that certain documents meant to act as evidence for the mission were falsified, and that Brooks may have known about it. Brooks is currently part of a criminal investigation, as well as his researcher, Edward Michaud, who was also involved in creating and submitting the false evidence.
Specifically, Brooks maintains that billions of dollars worth of valuables were onboard the wreck of the Nicholson, a claim that no longer seems to apply. In the official case brief, Marshal Tinkle, Brooks' attorney, explained why Sea Hunters has to officially withdraw from further area exploration.
"Although (Sea Hunters, Brooks' company) very much wishes to proceed with its salvage project, it acknowledges that at present it lacks the resources to do so or to continue litigation," he said. In addition, Tinkle will be stepping down as legal representative, saying he "has been unable for some time to comply with its agreement with counsel with respect to fees and expenses in this matter."
Commercial diving insurance helps professional salvage and shipwreck companies financially in circumstances beyond their control. Companies should work with providers that know the best protections for each individual industry, and anticipate possible holdups and delays in diving mission progress as possible barriers to regular performance.