In accordance with the objects of Save Ontario Shipwrecks (SOS), members shall adhere to the following Code of Ethics. Contravention of any of these principles constitutes grounds for expulsion from SOS, in accordance with its Constitution and By-Laws.


SOS fully supports the objects and principles of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001) and expects all members to adhere fully thereto.


SOS and its members act as stewards of our maritime heritage through the preservation, documentation and interpretation of shipwrecks and other submerged or nautical-related material culture.


SOS is dedicated to the in situ preservation of shipwrecks and other archaeological remains. Members should practise low-impact diving techniques and refrain from collecting artifacts, except as part of a licensed archaeological study. Arrangements must be made for the conservation and curation of any remains recovered.


SOS members shall adhere to the letter and spirit of all applicable legislation (e.g., the Ontario Heritage Act, the Cemeteries Act, and the Public Lands Act), and should inform the relevant authorities (including police or government bodies) of any contraventions thereof.


Members of SOS shall ensure that they are sufficiently trained and qualified for their role in any archaeological project. Members are encouraged to participate in training programs, including Nautical Archaeology Society courses.


The results of SOS projects shall be preserved through the production and dissemination of reports. Project leaders must maintain an archive of records, including field notes and reports, or make appropriate arrangements for this purpose.


The results of SOS projects must be communicated to the archaeological community and to the general public, including local media and related communities. Members must take extra care to not disturb human remains, and project leaders should encourage local representation and involvement.


Artifacts on or recovered from marine heritage sites remain public property, even when collected under an archaeological license. Members shall refrain from the commercial trafficking of marine heritage artifacts, particularly the buying or selling of unlawful or undocumented artifacts.


The name or logos of SOS shall only be used for promotions, publications or projects sanctioned by SOS.

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Save Ontario Shipwrecks gratefully acknowledge the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Culture Programs Unit and our many sponsors for their support. We also gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Ministry of Culture.