Peter Hess is a Wilmington, Delaware attorney specializing in maritime law. In his many cases concerning historic shipwrecks, Peter has represented finders and salvors, the state government, the sport diving public, and even a federal court. His clients have been involved with the recovery of Spanish galleons, Gold Rush shipwrecks, windjammers laden with Oriental porcelain, twentieth century luxury liners, warships and warplanes, and sunken pleasure yachts.
He testified before Congress on the proposed Abandoned Shipwreck Act and helped to draft regulations that take into account divers' interest in exploration of historic shipwrecks and the recovery of artifacts. Peter is a delegate to the negotiation of an international convention addressing the issue of the ownership and salvage rights to deepwater wrecks found outside of the territorial jurisdiction of coastal nations, where he advocates the interests of the explorers who are locating and recovering these time capsules from the past.
Peter has led and/or participated in four archaeological expeditions to the 235 foot deep ironclad MONITOR, capturing on film and video the extensive annual disintegration of the Civil War vessel. More recently, he has been active in efforts to locate and recover lost World War II-era fighter planes from the ocean and from lakes as far apart as Maine and Nevada .
On matters of shipwreck salvage and maritime law, Peter Hess is one of the most renowned experts in the United States . He has traveled to Alaska and dived the shipwrecks ALEUTIAN and KAD'YAK, and acted as co-counsel (with Anchorage attorney Walter Ebell) representing Shoreline Adventures, LLC in its admiralty arrest of the ALEUTIAN shipwreck.