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Frequently Asked Questions

Alan Jones answers your questions.

Is Shipwrecks UK now available?

The Shipwrecks UK resource provides unrivalled functionality, using web technology, and its content substantially exceeds that made available in print through the Shipwreck Index. It will never be 'finished', any more than archaeological research can ever be considered finished but development of its content has continued apace.

Unfortunately it is not feasible to make it available in segments: all its information needs to be available to the user for its true, stunning functionality to emerge. Without pre-funded total access, too many content restrictors are necessary to protect the data. It therefore remains, for the time being, as a resource used by me to answer your queries. But roll on the day when funding can be made available to make the whole resource properly available to all. Are you someone who could enable this?

If you are interested in sponsoring Shipwrecks UK, or otherwise funding it, to support free public access to the full on-line resource, then please contact me.  As part of such an arrangement it could be possible for you to have your own full version of the resource.

Shipwrecks UK Ltd

Who would benefit from access to the Shipwrecks UK resource?

I am well aware of the desire of educators and academics, archaeologists, government departments, historians, genealogists, divers and many other groups of users to have full access to the resouce. Such access would also encourage addition, amplification and correction of content (eg as more becomes known about a wreck and its position). A subscriber system would inevitably inhibit the take-up and thwart a wider appreciation of the maritime heritage of the British Isles.  

For the present, Shipwrecks UK continues to provide a research service that can make full use of the resource, on a very reasonable fee-for-service basis.

Who is Shipwrecks UK aimed at?

Anyone who has a personal or professional interest in shipwrecks and the maritime heritage of the British Isles. For those who have an urgent requirement for British Isles shipwreck information (for example, by the media in conjunction with breaking stories) then Shipwrecks UK will be especially valuable.

Who compiled the core of the Shipwrecks UK information contained in the resource?

Richard and Bridge Larn published the 6 volumes of the Lloyd's Register Shipwreck Index volumes and the Shipwreck Index of Ireland between 1996 and 2002, drawing on their decades of expertise and endeavour in this field. Shipwrecks UK Ltd became the owner when Richard and Bridget and Alan Jones co-founded the company in 2005.

Who owns the company now?

In 2016 Richard and Bridget sold their shares in the company to Alan Jones, who had been majority owner since 2007. Shipwrecks UK Ltd owns full title to all written and electronic information contained in the Shipwreck Index volumes. Since 2004, Alan Jones has invested research efforts in addition to technical skills in the endeavour and is responsible for most of the additions and improvements to the data that have been made since that time. He actively continues this process as the focus of his efforts.

Can I see a demonstration of Shipwrecks UK?

There have been many live demonstrations of the Shipwrecks UK resource during its evolution.

Shipwrecks UK received its first public airing at the Nautical Archaeology Society Conference in Portsmouth on 12th November 2005, where it received significant plaudits. Since then demonstrations have been given to a number of experts in their fields and other knowledgable enthusiasts including: the Director, Collections and Research and Head of Online Projects at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich; the Editor of Diver Magazine; staff at the National Monuments Record in Swindon; staff of Wessex Archaeology in Old Sarum; PADI International in Bristol; Dava Sobel, Sir Arnold Wolfendale and others at the Tercentenary Commemorations of the 1707 `Association` fleet loss; staff of Oxford Archaeology; University of Oxford International Programmes; Britannia Naval Research Association; Diving and Manned Submersibles Committee of the Society for Underwater Technology (chaired by the late Dr John Bevan); Dr Tom Wareham, Curator and Archivist of the Museum of London, Docklands; and Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre. Alan Jones illustrated his presentation `Mapping our Shipwreck Heritage` to the 26th International Shipwreck Conference at Plymouth using a live version of the resource.

If you would like Shipwrecks UK to arrange a demonstration for you then please contact Alan Jones but this will normally be restricted to circumstances likely to assist the goals of enabling funding to support free-for-use availability of the entirety of the Shipwrecks UK resource. Sponsors and/or grant-makers are needed to make this happen.

How many wrecks are included within the Shipwrecks UK resource?

Well over 50,000 shipwrecks, within the sea areas surrounding Great Britain and Ireland. The number continues to grow, as a result of additional research, acquisition of additional historic reference material, and new wrecks.

Can I submit questions about shipwrecks in the seas surrounding the British Isles before the Shipwrecks UK system is publicly available?

Shipwrecks UK will be delighted to answer any questions that you may have and to prepare a well-researched response. There will be a modest charge for this service to support costs associated with maintaining and improving such as resource. Please contact Shipwrecks UK Ltd.