NO: 4:05-CV-122-D3 BDJ DISCOVERY GROUP, LLC, Plaintiff vs. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )


THE UNIDENTIFIED, SHIPWRECKED VESSEL, its apparel, tackle, appurtenances and Cargo located in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean approximately 12 miles off the Coast of North Carolina, Defendant

Pursuant to the Court’s Order of February 21, 2006, the Plaintiff BDJ Discovery Group, LLC hereby provides the Court with the following general status report on this case. On September 23, 2005, the Plaintiff filed an in rem Complaint with this Court, pursuant to the Court’s admiralty and maritime jurisdiction. The RES consists of the remains of an unidentifed and wrecked vessel, her apparel, tackle, and cargo. The subject of this maritime action was not salvageable material ensconded in an extant hull, but identifiable parts of, and cargo of, the defendant shipwreck. On September 23, 2005, the Clerk of the Court issued a warrant of arrest for the defendant shipwreck, commanding the United States Marshall for the Eastern District of North Carolina to take into custody the defendant shipwreck and to detain the same in his custody until further order of this Court. At that time, the parts of the defendant shipwreck that had been salvaged from the wreck site were in the care, custody and control of the Plaintiff. Pursuant to said warrant of arrest United States Marshall arrested the following articles:


6 Gold bars approximately 3-4 inches in length; 2 Silver bars 7-7 ½ inches in length; 1 one half silver bar 4 inches in length; 3 small schards of silver; 2 Emeralds; 2, 1/2 Reale Spanish coins.

On September 23, 2005, an Order was entered in this matter by the Honorable James Dever, appointing the Plaintiff/salvor BDJ Discovery Group, LLC as Substitute Custodian and ordering it to retain in its custody for possession and safekeeping the defendant shipwreck, its tackle, armament, apparel and cargo. Pursuant to said order the Marshall promptly delivered the arrested artifacts to the Plaintiff. The property at this stage was in custodia legis, pending further proceedings, even though BDJ Discovery Group, LLC had physical possession of the property. That said Order further provided that the Court’s Substitute Custodian is ordered to file with this Court an accurate accounting of all items removed from the shipwreck on a monthly basis. There have been no artifacts recovered since the entry of said order. The salvage season off the coast of North Carolina is controlled by weather, it typically runs from May through September, depending upon hurricane activity. Even though the salvage season normally ends in September the Plaintiff attempted salvage operations on October 18 and 19, 2005 however these operations were cut short by the approach of hurricane Wilma to Florida necessitating that BDJ’s dive director, Mike Daniel, return to his home in Jupiter, Florida. Publication required by Supplemental Rule (C)(4), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Rule 204.00 of the Local Rules of Practice and Procedure for the United States District Court for

the Eastern District of North Carolina was done in the News and Observer, Raleigh, North Carolina on October 7, 2005. No claim has been filed by any person or entity claiming any interest in the matter and no answer has been filed on behalf of any person or entity in this matter. This matter is ripe for entry of default. This Court should retain jurisdiction over this ongoing salvage effort so that it may protect, if appropriate, the Plaintiff’s position as salvor- in-possession, and to adjudicate the Plaintiff’s claim to a salvage award on a periodic basis or upon completion of the salvage services it intends to perform. RMS Titantic, Inc. v. The Wrecked and Abandoned Vessel, et. al. 286 F. 3d 194; 2002 U.S. App Lexis 6799 (4th Cir. 2002), citing Cobb Coin Co. v. Unidentifiable, Wrecked and Abandoned Sailing Vessel 549 F. Supp 540 (S.D. Fla 1982). The Plaintiff intends to resume salvage activities in April or May depending upon weather and sea conditions. Plaintiff will be filing under seal its monthly accountings to apprise the Court of its activities even though no items have been removed from the shipwreck since the Complaint was filed. Respectfully Submitted, This the 1st day of March, 2006. WHEATLY, WHEATLY, WEEKS VALENTINE & LUPTON, P.A.


/S/ Stevenson L. Weeks Attorney for Plaintiff State Bar No.: 9515 P.O. Box 360; 710 Cedar Street Beaufort, NC 28516 Telephone: (252) 728-3158

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