With so many scuba divers visiting the Bell Island shipwrecks each year, there are concerns about possible looting of artifacts and “souvenirs” from the wrecks. Ocean Quest Adventures is the dive operator that takes visiting divers to the shipwrecks, and they make it a priority to educate divers to “take only photos and leave only bubbles.” Likewise, the Shipwreck Preservation Society of Newfoundland & Labrador educates local scuba divers about the importance of protecting the shipwrecks while exploring them.
The Fleet Diving Unit (Atlantic) of the Royal Canadian Navy visits the Bell Island shipwrecks periodically to remove any unexploded ammunition that becomes exposed. This includes artillery shells for the stern guns on the ships and boxes of .303 ammunition for the Lewis guns onboard. In July 2019, Navy divers removed dozens of artillery shells from the wrecks of Saganaga and Rose Castle. Removal of unexploded ammunition by the Navy makes the shipwrecks safer for recreational scuba divers to explore and enjoy.
Through the efforts of Bell Islanders and Newfoundlanders, the 1942 U-boat attacks and sinkings of the four Bell Island ore ships were designated as an Event of Provincial Significance in 2011 and then as a National Historic Event in 2019. These designations help promote awareness of the sinkings and their importance to our heritage among Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, and visitors to the province.