Report wreck material

Report wreck material, for example parts of a ship or its cargo, to the Receiver of Wreck. You must report any material you recover within 28 days, or you could be fined £2,500.

Reporting wreck material gives the legal owner the opportunity to have their property returned.

How to report wreck material

Send the ‘Report of wreck and salvage’ form to the Receiver of the Wreck at

The Receiver of Wreck cannot currently receive reports in the post because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

You can also get a copy of the form from your local coastguard.

Receiver of Wreck
Telephone: 0203 817 2575
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What counts as wreck material

Wreck material includes things found on the sea shore or in tidal water that have come from a ship, aircraft or hovercraft (vessels). This could be parts of the vessel, its cargo or equipment.

There are 4 main categories:

  • flotsam - goods that have remained afloat after being lost from a ship that has sunk
  • jetsam - things that have been cast overboard from a ship that was in danger of sinking
  • derelict - property that has been abandoned at sea without hope of recovering it, which could be vessels or cargo
  • lagan - goods that have been buoyed (so they can be recovered) before being cast overboard from a ship that then sinks

Wreck material does not normally include:

  • boats that have come off their moorings
  • buoys, like marker or mooring buoys

It does include buoys that form part of fishing equipment.

Contact the Receiver of Wreck if you’re not sure whether something is wreck material.


You may be entitled to a ‘salvage award’ recognising your efforts to save the item and return it to its owner.

Read information about wreck and salvage law.

  1. Step 1 Check if the item you've found is treasure or wreck

    You need to check if what you've found counts as treasure or wreck material.

    1. Check if your find is treasure
    2. You are currently viewing: Check if your find is wreck material
  2. Step 2 Report treasure to the local coroner

    You must report treasure to the local coroner within 14 days of finding it.

    1. Find your local coroner
    2. Find out what happens after you report treasure

    The Portable Antiquities Scheme can help you report treasure and archaeological finds.

    1. Contact a Finds Liaison Officer at the Portable Antiquities Scheme
  3. or Report wreck material to the Receiver of Wreck

    You must report wreck material to the Receiver of Wreck within 28 days of finding it.

    1. Report wreck material