Shipwreck uncovered on North Carolina beach

Shipwreck uncovered on North Carolina beach

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During a very high tide known as a king tide, a shipwreck believed to be from the 1800s was discovered on the beach in front of the Shoals Club on Bald Head Island.

American painting of a 19th century schooner
American painting of a 19th century schooner

The club is located in Brunswick County to the south of Wilmington, North Carolina, USA. An archeological team visited the site. They determined that the wreckage was part of an old ship. Excited about the news, the Shoals Club posted on Facebook:

“History has been found on The Shoals Club beachfront! The king tide from earlier this year revealed the remains of a ship from the 1800s. This week, an archeological crew came out to examine and determine that it was a ship. We ask that all beachgoers stay away from these remains as we discover more. We do not have plans to remove it at this time. Stay tuned for updates.”

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a king tide is a popular, non-scientific term that people use to describe an exceptionally high tide. There was a king tide earlier this year, but it is not known precisely when the shipwreck appeared.

“Finding the 12 x 60ft shipwreck on the beach was like finding gold at the end of the rainbow,” the Shoals Club said in a statement provided to Newsweek. “It’s a privilege to be a small part of the ship’s story—we look forward to learning more about it as the North Carolina Office of Archeology researches the remains further.” 

Kevin P. Duffus, a maritime history expert, said the dimensions of the wreckage indicated that the ship was larger than a traditional fishing boat. Considering the iron fasteners and wooden timber, it appears the vessel is from the late 19th century and is most likely a large schooner.

Duffus stated that a common problem in identifying shipwrecks is that storms can transport the remains far away from where a ship initially sank.


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Press releases from Divers Alert Network (DAN)