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WW2 ship salvaging

WW2 ship salvaging

Guests : Dr Kelvin Kemm | Chair at South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) |
               Nick Sloane - Salvage Expert |
Dozens of warships believed to contain the remains of thousands of British, American,
Australian, Dutch and Japanese servicemen from the second world war have been
illegally ripped apart by salvage divers.
An analysis of ships discovered by wreck divers and naval historians has found that up
to 40 second world war-era vessels have already been partially or completely
destroyed. Their hulls might have contained the corpses of 4,500 crew.
Governments fear other unmarked graves are at risk of being desecrated. Hundreds
more ships – mostly Japanese vessels that could contain the war graves of tens of
thousands of crew killed during the war – remain on the seabed.
The rusted 70-year-old wrecks are usually sold as scrap but the ships also contain
valuable metals such as copper cables and phosphor bronze propellers.
Experts said grave diggers might be looking for even more precious treasures – steel
plating made before the nuclear testing era, which filled the atmosphere with radiation.
These submerged ships are one of the last sources of “low background steel”, virtually
radiation-free and vital for some scientific and medical equipment.
Joining us for this topic is Salvage master Nick Sloane who amongst other jobs was in
charge of the salvage operation of the wrecked Costa Concordia in September 2013 &
Dr Kelvin Kemm CEO of Nuclear Africa , a nuclear project management company

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