Apply for this licence

Start now on the Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland (DOENI) website

Overview

If you want to dive on or near a wreck that’s legally protected, you must get a licence from the protective body for that part of the UK.

You’ll need a licence if you:

  • interfere with, damage or remove a part of the wreck or any historical object (known as an ‘artefact’) from the wreck
  • dive or carry out a salvage operation on the wreck or remove historical objects from the seabed nearby
  • allow anything to fall and lie on the seabed that could damage the wreck, destroy the site or block access to it

Restrictions

You’ll only get a licence if you:

  • are qualified and experienced in diving and carrying out salvage operations on wrecks
  • have the right equipment that’s appropriate for the kind of wreck you want to work on
  • have a genuine reason for being in the area around the wreck

A licence lasts between 6 months and 1 year.

You can only anchor on a wreck when you or your boat are in danger.

Licences you can apply for

When you apply you must specify which of the following licences you want:

  • a visitor licence
  • a survey licence
  • a recovery licence
  • an excavation licence

How to apply

You can apply for a licence from Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland (DOENI).

The minimum information you’ll need to give is:

  • your diving qualifications and experience
  • details of 2 referees
  • which diving Code of Practice you’ll be using
  • details of other divers that will be working with you

Fines and penalties

You can be fined up to £5,000 if you:

  • dive, dig, take away a historical object or anchor near a designated wreck without a licence
  • dive on or near a wreck that by law is ‘dangerous’