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Bill Number: 582 Ratification Number: 447 Act Number 365 Introducing Body: Senate Subject: Underwater Antiquities Act
(A365, R447, S582)
AN ACT TO CREATE THE SOUTH CAROLINA UNDERWATER ANTIQUITIES ACT OF 1982 WHICH PROVIDES FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF THE UNDERWATER ARCHEOLOGICAL AND PALEONTOLOGICAL RESOURCES OF THE STATE AND TO REPEAL ARTICLE 3, CHAPTER 7, OF TITLE 54, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, AND ACT 1 OF 1977 RELATING TO THE CONTROL OF SALVAGE OPERATIONS IN THE WATERS OF THE STATE.
Whereas, since it is the sole purpose of this act to preserve the historic and scientific values inherent in submerged antiquities for the benefit of all of the people of the State, it is only incidental to this purpose, and as a means of achieving this purpose, that licenses provided for in this act may be granted and that portions of the recovered objects shall be transferred to the licensees. Now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Act to be cited as the South Carolina Underwater Antiquities Act of 1982
Section 1. This act may be cited as the South Carolina Underwater Antiquities Act of 1982.
Section 2. For the purposes of this act:
(A) "Salvage operations" means the disturbance or removal of any submerged antiquities that lie within any navigable waters of the State or that lie within one marine league seaward from the Atlantic shoreline of the State measured from mean low water.
(B) "Navigable waters" means all waters belonging to the State which are navigable in fact.
(C) "Submerged antiquities" means any and all objects of archeological or paleontological association and which have remained unclaimed for more than fifty years and which are located at or below mean low water. The term shall include archaeological material which shall include but not he limited to sunken vessels and all things therein, individual assemblages of historic or prehistoric artifacts. The term "paleontological materials" shall include but not be limited to fossils and other paleontological material, both plant and animal, such as molds, casts, bones, and teeth.
(D) "Employment contract" means a contract or agreement between the principal party of the license and others who purport to be supplied and equipped to perform the actual exploration or salvage.
(E) "Data recording techniques" means, but is not limited to:
(1) Plan or sketch drawings of the objects in situ before disturbance or recovery and photographs thereof whenever visibility permits.
(2) Sketches or plan drawings of large submerged antiquities, such as sunken vessels, in detail showing positions of decks, bottoms, holds, superstructures, stern, bow, cargo, and other features and their relationships to each other.
(3) Narrative or pictorial descriptions of the surroundings including any adjacent objects, depth of water, nature of bottoms such as quantity of mud, and depth to which the objects are sunk in the mud.
(4) Photographs of all objects immediately after recovery.
(5) Records of what part of the sunken vessel or area of salvage each recovered object came from or such further data recording techniques as may be required.
(F) "License" means that a person licensed has been given a right to perform recovery operations outlined in this act. It is not a proof of qualification to skin or scuba dive nor that a person is qualified to skin or scuba dive.
Title to bottoms of navigable waters
Section 3. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the title to all bottoms of navigable waters within the State and within the territorial boundaries of the State measured seaward from the mean low water one marine league from the Atlantic seashore and to all submerged antiquities is declared to be in the State of South Carolina.
Custodian of archaeological materials
Section 4. (a) The custodian of archaeological materials shall be the South Carolina Institute of Archeology and Anthropology. The custodian of paleontological materials shall be the South Carolina Museum Commission. The Institute of Archeology and Anthropology may promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to carry out its duties under this act.
(b) The custodian of any other things of value not provided for in Section 2 shall be the State Budget and Control Board which may promulgate such regulations as may be necessary for this purpose.
License to conduct operations
Section 5. Any person desiring to conduct operations pursuant to this act in the course of which submerged antiquities or submerged archeological or paleontological sites may be removed, displaced, or destroyed shall make application to the Institute for a license to conduct such operations. If the Institute after consultation with the South Carolina Museum Commission on paleontological matters finds that the granting of such license is in the best interest of the State, it may grant it for such period of time and under such conditions as the Institute may deem to be in the best interest of the State. The license may include but not be limited to the following:
(a) A portion or all of the antiquities may be sold or exchanged by the Institute.
(b) The licensee's equity shall be stated in the license and shall not be less than fifty percent, in value or in kind, of the antiquities recovered.
(c) Any other reasonable conditions constituting fair compensation to the licensee and protection of property rights of the people of the State.
No license shall be required of the Institute or the South Carolina Museum Commission which may conduct any operations provided for by this act and all recovered items shall belong to the State.
Any person desiring to recover anything of value other than submerged antiquities shall obtain a license from the State Budget and Control Board under such terms and conditions as the board may determine.
Expenditure of funds
Section 6. Subject to the approval of the Budget and Control Board, any funds received by the Institute pursuant to this act may be used by it for continuing its duties under this act, or the board may direct that all or any of such funds be paid into the general fund of the State. Any funds received by the board may be allocated as it sees fit.
Section 7. (a) No operation provided for in this act shall be conducted by any person, partnership, or any other entity that has not first been granted an appropriate license from the Institute.
(b) Licenses shall be of three types: hobby licenses, search licenses, and salvage licenses. Restrictive licenses may be granted to persons under the age of sixteen who may exercise the privileges of such license only when accompanied by the holder of a nonrestrictive license.
(c) Each application for a license shall be filed with the Institute in writing on an application form to be provided by the Institute. The Institute may request additional information, documentation, or references from any applicant for a license or from any licensee at any time.
(d) Upon application and payment of an additional fee, any license under which the work has been diligently prosecuted and faithfully adhered to may be renewed at the discretion of the Institute if it is found to be in the best interest of the State.
(e) All submerged antiquities, or submerged antiquities that have been recovered recently, are declared to be the property of the State. Such submerged antiquities as are from time to time recovered under a license shall be granted, in part, to the licensee as stated in his license as reasonable compensation for his efforts in recovering the objects and the title to and ownership of the objects is transferred to the licensee. The division of antiquities recovered under search and salvage licenses shall be made in accordance with the method established at the issuance of the license with the Institute acting in the best interest of the State and giving due consideration to the fair treatment of the licensee.
The division of antiquities recovered under a hobby license shall be on a percentage basis, in value or in kind, with the Institute acting as the arbiter of the division in the best interest of the State and giving due consideration to the fair treatment of the licensee.
(f) No objects recovered under the authority of any type of license shall be disposed of by gift, sale, discard, or in any other way until a division has been made and the object has been properly released by the Institute.
(g) Any objects that have been or are submerged antiquities as defined in this act that have been recovered, taken, collected, or otherwise disturbed, contrary to the terms of a license, or without a license, may be confiscated wherever found and at any time by any South Carolina law enforcement officer, or any Institute archeologist or other authorized member of the staff of the Institute, or of the staff of the South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, or of the staff of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, and may be disposed of as the Institute shall determine to be in the best interest of the State.
(h) Any of the persons named in subsection (g) above, may, at any time, examine the license of any person, partnership, or other entity claiming privileges under this act and may fully examine all work done under such license and may apprehend or cause to be arrested any person suspected of being in violation of any part of this act and may confiscate any antiquities in the possession of such person that have been recovered as a result of such suspected violation.
(i) The Institute may seek information, consultation, or advice on any aspect of the granting or supervision of a license or on any other aspect of the carrying out of the provisions of this act and may act upon that information, advice, or consultation in the best interest of the State.
(j) Any licensee shall fully comply with all normal safety regulations governing activities as exercised under the privileges of his license and the State shall not be held liable or responsible for any accident, injury, or any other harm sustained by any person or loss, damage, or any other harm to any equipment in any way connected or associated with the operation of such license.
(k) It is the responsibility of each licensee to determine what federal and state regulations will pertain to the activities under the license and to comply fully with all such regulations.
(l) A licensee shall not be permitted to recover underwater antiquities selectively. The licensee shall not select only salable objects to recover nor only one kind of objects but shall recover all objects located including broken objects, fragments of objects, prehistoric objects, and other antiquities in his search area. If some objects are too large to recover, the licensee shall describe those objects that were not recovered.
(m) A licensee shall not use underwater explosives or other grossly destructive devices in any aspect of salvage or exploratory work except where written permission has been obtained from the Institute and an Institute staff member is on the site. What constitutes a grossly destructive device shall be determined by the Institute. Requests for permission to use explosives or other grossly destructive devices shall be limited to a specific reason, on a specific date and explosives or other grossly destructive devices may be used only after the Institute determines that all available scientific information has been retrieved.
(n) The Institute by its designated agent may visit and be present at any operations including diving operations, storage facilities for the recovered antiquities, or any other phase of the operation for which a license has been granted but only when a representative of the licensee is present. The underwater site may be visited at any time by a designated agent of the Institute without a representative of the licensee present.
(o) All licensees shall be required to comply with all reasonable requests or directives to them by the Institute or its designated agent with respect to the operations authorized by the licenses.
Section 8. (a) A hobby license may be granted to an applicant of good moral character for temporary, intermittent noncommercial search and salvage operations of a recreational nature requiring minimal equipment, training, and experience. This nonexclusive statewide license shall be granted for one year.
(b) There shall be two categories of hobby licenses, individual and instructional. Individual licenses may be granted to individuals, or husbands and wives, and accompanying children fifteen years of age and under. The license fee shall be five dollars for state residents and ten dollars for nonresidents. Instructional licenses may be granted to a skin and scuba diving instructor or organized training facility where antiquity recovery may occur incidental to instruction. This license shall be in effect only during sessions of instruction. The license fee shall be twenty-five dollars for state resident instructors or facilities and fifty dollars for nonresident instructors or facilities.
(c) Hobby license holders shall not exercise the privileges of their licenses in waters for which any type of exclusive license has been granted and is in effect or in waters for which such exclusive licenses become effective during the life of that exclusive license.
(d) It is the intent of this section to limit the recovery of submerged antiquities under a hobby license to recreational, small scale, noncommercial, hobby activities and all powered mechanical dredging and lifting devices and electronic detection devices of any sort are prohibited under such license.
(e) Every holder of a hobby license shall submit a written monthly report of his activities including a listing of all recovered objects and descriptions of the places from which they were recovered to the Institute no later than the tenth of the following month. All objects recovered during any calendar month will be made available to the Institute for inspection, study, research, and photography during that month or no later than sixty days from the receipt of the monthly report. If the Institute does not contact the licensee by the end of the sixty days, title to the objects recovered and listed on his monthly report shall revert to the licensee.
Section 9. (a) It is the intent of the Institute to limit search and salvage licenses under this act, insofar as is practical, to those persons, partnerships, or other entities who will themselves conduct the work. The licensee shall remain solely answerable to the Institute for the conduct of the operations and the proper accounting of antiquities located or recovered under the terms of the license.
(b) No license for the disturbance or removal of any submerged antiquities which, in the opinion of the Institute, are of primary scientific value shall be granted.
(c) No license for the disturbance or removal of any submerged antiquities which can be preserved in situ under the protection of the State and remain as objects of interest shall be granted.
(d) No license for the disturbance or removal of any submerged antiquities which are, in the opinion of the Institute, a part of any archeological or paleontological site on land where the Institute may conduct research, shall be granted except in relation to and as part of that research.
(e) No applicant shall be granted a license for an area larger than he can reasonably be expected to fully and adequately investigate.
(f) The Institute may approve employment contracts but will consider any license subject to cancellation if the licensee does not retain full responsibility for the actual operations conducted under the license. No license, or any part thereof, shall be assigned or sublet.
(g) Application for search or salvage licenses shall be accompanied by a definite and specific plan of operation, including plans for preservation and storage of antiquities, proposed starting date, and the length of time proposed to be devoted to the work.
(h) The application shall be accompanied by a sketch map, location map, and other pictorial description of the site or area where work is to be done, of sufficient detail and definition as to be clearly and accurately located on a standard map or chart. A representative of the Institute, accompanied by the applicant, may visit the proposed site or area to determine the license area boundaries.
(i) The application shall include the name and address of the applicant, the names of the person who will be in immediate charge of the work, the names and addresses of all persons who will participate in the work, or who are otherwise connected with the work. The application shall also be accompanied by a listing of the experience, training, and background of responsibility of all participants in the work. Additional personnel may be hired upon approval of the Institute or its authorized representative. Any changeover in personnel shall be reported immediately to the Institute with the accompanying information required by this section.
(j) The applicant shall list all equipment to be used in the work or that will be available for use and shall submit a statement of the financial support for the work. Additional equipment may be authorized after issuance of the license upon approval of the Institute or its authorized representative. Should there be proposed changes in the financial support, the Institute shall be notified immediately. Changes in financial support or deviation from the plan of operation may result in revocation of the license.
(k) In the application each applicant shall furnish a list of all vessels expected to be used under the license, including a full description, the name, and registration number of the vessel. The use of additional vessels may be authorized, after issuance of the license upon approval of the Institute or its authorized representative.
(l) Under this section, no applicant shall be granted more than two licenses to be in effect at the same time, and it is the intent of this act to limit a single applicant to one license insofar as this is practicable and in the best interest of the State.
(m) Licenses for search and salvage operations may be granted by the Institute acting in the best interest of the State to persons partnerships, or other entities that are, in its opinion, of reputable character, qualified to conduct the work, financially able and adequately equipped to carry out the operations proposed. (n) To afford adequate protection for the interest of the State, it shall be the policy of the Institute to limit the number of licenses granted under this section to those that can be properly supervised and administered by the authorized agents of the Institute. The nature and the extent of the supervision shall be determined by the Institute.
(o) Each licensee shall properly mark and protect against encroachment by others any and all sites and areas for which the license is granted and the State shall not be responsible for such marking or protection except as the Institute may determine to ,be incidental to the administration of this act.
(p) At all times there shall be a person designated by and acting for the licensee aboard any vessel or present at any phase of the operation going on under the license who shall ,be responsible for the work and who shall be familiar with the law, stipulations, and directives concerning the work and who shall be responsible for compliance with them in order to insure the preservation of archeological and paleontological data.
(q) As a means of preserving the historic and scientific values of the submerged antiquities each licensee shall exercise all data recording techniques of which he is capable within the framework of his operation. The licensee shall not disturb or remove submerged antiquities without making as much of a record of their in situ positions and locations as is possible.
(r) Failure to begin work under the terms of a license within the first third of the life of the license or failure to diligently prosecute such work after it has been started or to faithfully comply with any of the provisions of the license or of the directives concerning the work shall be reason for revocation of the license and any license may be revoked for cause.
Section 10. (a) A search license shall be an exclusive license that may be granted to an applicant for the purpose of conducting underwater search operations using remote sensing systems, ranging systems, or other methods of search. It shall be granted for a period not to exceed three months.
(b) Search licenses shall be issued for a specific area which may consist of one or more search units. A search unit shall not be larger than one nautical mile on a side and a fee of twenty-five dollars per search unit will be charged. All search units issued under one license shall be contiguous and no more than nine search units may be issued under one license. It is the intent of the Institute to limit the number of search units to a number that can be adequately surveyed within the scope and time frame of the project. The disturbance or removal of submerged antiquities under this license shall only be allowed for evaluation and interpretation of the sites.
(c) A written report of activities including a listing of all antiquities and other objects recovered and a diagram, chart, or other description of all submerged antiquities and other objects, sites located, and other required information shall be made to the Institute at such times as may be noted on the license.
(d) Within sixty days of the receipt of the report, all objects recovered under the authority of the license shall, upon demand, be made available to the Institute for its inspection. Upon inspection, the Institute shall grant to the licensee his portion of the objects either immediately or after a reasonable period of time for study, research, and photography of the objects, not to exceed sixty days from the date of the inspection.
Section 11. (a) The salvage license shall be an exclusive license that may be granted to an applicant for the purpose of conducting a well-planned, continuing, underwater salvage operation with experienced personnel and adequate financial support. The salvage license shall be for a specific site and shall be granted for a period of time not to exceed one year. A fee of two hundred fifty dollars shall be charged.
(b) A written report of all activities carried out under the authority of this license both on surface and underwater shall be made to the Institute at such times as may be noted on the license. The requirements of the report shall be stated in the license.
(c) Within sixty days of the receipt of the report, all objects recovered under the authority of the license shall, upon demand, be made available to the Institute for its inspection. Upon inspection, the Institute shall grant to the licensee his portion of the objects either immediately or after a reasonable period of time for study, research, and photography of the objects, not to exceed sixty days from the date of the inspection.
Agencies to assist Institute
Section 12. All state and local law enforcement agencies are hereby empowered to assist the Institute, the board, and the licensee.
Revocation of license
Section 13. (a) The Institute or board may suspend or revoke a license issued by them for just cause after the licensee has been given at least twenty days' notice in writing of the charges against him and is granted a hearing by the issuing authority. Upon the hearing of any such proceedings the issuing authority may administer oaths and subpoena the attendance of witnesses and all other necessary parties and the production of relevant books and papers.
(b) Any licensee who is not satisfied with the decision of the hearing may appeal to the circuit court in the same manner as provided for by law regarding appeals from magistrates' courts. The court may in its discretion reverse or modify any order made by the issuing authority.
Section 14. Any person violating the provisions of this act regarding a hobby license is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine not to exceed two hundred dollars or by imprisonment not to exceed thirty days. Any person violating the provisions of this act regarding a search or salvage license is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine not to exceed ten thousand dollars or imprisonment not to exceed two years.
Prima facie evidence
Section 15. Any submerged antiquities found in any watercraft or vehicle occupied by persons unlicensed as required by this act shall constitute prima facie evidence of violation of this act.
Section 16. Article 3, Chapter 7, of Title 54 of the 1976 Code and Act 1 of 1977 are repealed.
Section 17. This act shall take effect July 1, 1982.