Receiver of Wreck
The Receiver of Wreck is an officer of Transport Canada, designated under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.
The Receiver of Wreck acts as the custodian of found and recovered wreck. This involves researching ownership and working with the finder/salvor, owner, archaeologists, museums, and other interested parties.
If no owner is found, the Receiver of Wreck may dispose of the wreck or award the wreck in whole or in part to the salvor.
What is Wreck?
‘Wreck' can be a vessel of any description, an aircraft, or part of a vessel or aircraft that floats, sinks to the bottom or lands ashore. It also includes cargo or personal belongings of the crew or shipwrecked people.
Wreck is sometimes referred to in the following terms.
- Flotsam are goods lost from a vessel which are recoverable because they have floated.
- Jetsam are goods cast overboard (jettisoned) in order to lighten a vessel.
- Derelict is property which has been abandoned and deserted in waters by those who were in charge without any hope of recovering it. This includes vessels and cargo.
- Lagan (or ligan) are goods cast overboard and buoyed so that they can be recovered later.
- any other thing that was part of or was on a vessel wrecked, stranded or in distress.
- aircraft wrecked in waters and anything that was part of or was on an aircraft wrecked, stranded or in distress in waters.
Salvaging a Wreck
If you find a wreck and are not the owner, you must report it to the Receiver of Wreck in that region as soon as possible. Because this is often misunderstood, it is important to note that finding wreck does not necessarily give you the right to salvage it, nor does it give you ownership rights.
Not reporting wreck to the Receiver of Wreck is an offence and the person committing the offence is liable to a fine up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment up to a year.
Your regional NWPP officer will help to determine what action can be taken.
For more information, refer to the FAQ about Receiver of Wreck
- Date modified: