‘Judge evokes Gilligan’s Island in shipwreck ruling’

With a title like that how could I not click on this AP article? Apparently an Alabama judge infused a recent opinion with “whimsical references” to that favorite 1960s shipwreck sitcom. The case in question revolved around salvage rights to an unidentified shipwreck discovered almost eight years ago at the mouth to Mobile Bay. As Chief US District Judge William Steele wrote in his decision:

The proper identity of Shipwreck #1 is a matter better suited for spirited scholarly discourse than black-letter judicial construction. Yet the parties have submitted their dispute to a federal judge, not a 19th century maritime historian.

That said, Steele subtly critiqued the historical evidence presented at trial and delivered a sound, if flippant opinion (I’m looking forward to reading the decision!). The best news, however, is that the folks who found the wrecks in question–the Robert H. Dixey and the Amstel–agreed to reveal their location to state and federal officials the location. At least now these historic sites can be properly managed rather than looted.

For more see this article.

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Filed under Along the Coast, Shipwreck culture, Shipwreck Kitsch

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