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They accidentally found a mysterious wreck from the 19th century - video

A previously unknown shipwreck, some 150 years old, has been found by researchers in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The sunken vessel was found by accident, during equipment tests conducted by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration personnel. The discovery was made on 16 May, but a report of the entire incident was only
Published: May 31, 2019 - 20:34
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 18:16
They accidentally found a mysterious wreck from the 19th century – video

A previously unknown shipwreck, some 150 years old, has been found by researchers in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The sunken vessel was found by accident, during equipment tests conducted by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration personnel.

The discovery was made on 16 May, but a report of the entire incident was only made public in recent days. The surprising find was first recorded by sonar and then inspected using a remotely operated ROV.

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ROV Deep Discoverer approaching the bow of the shipwreck.

A closer inspection confirmed that we are dealing with the wreck of a vessel with a wooden hull covered with copper and marked with the numbers ‘2109’. The vessel lies at a depth of approximately 450 metres, 160 Mm off the coast of Florida.

Scientists from NOAA, who led the examination of the wreck, described it as very mysterious because, despite efforts, not many traces have been found that could reveal the identity of the vessel, the type of cargo or even what flag it was flying. Some traces indicate that a fire may have broken out on the vessel, which was the immediate cause of the sinking.

The approximately 40 metre long shipwreck is believed to be a schooner or brig built in the mid 19th century, with a very distinctive copper-clad hull. It is on the basis of the construction features that the age of the find was initially determined, however it should be remembered that it is the moment of the creation of the vessel, and not its sinking. These two dates may be even several dozen years apart.

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The aforementioned number “2109” may also prove important, which is very clearly visible and is currently the most important sticking point on the way to full identification of the wreck.

The general state of preservation of the find should be divided into two parts. What is up to the waterline is almost perfectly preserved, which is certainly due to the copper covering. Unfortunately, everything above the water line has been completely destroyed. In the vicinity of the wreck there are many wooden elements which look charred, which lends credence to the hypothesis of a fire.

190530103951-03-shipwreck-1800-noaa-trnd-exlarge-169

NOAA staff themselves are very surprised by their discovery. This is all because it occurred completely by accident, during equipment tests. They stress that this is an extremely rare situation. Usually, when they find a wreck, they have basic information about it and they look in specific places. Here, the identification process will be completely different.

Source: NOAA

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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