Shipwreck washed up in Newfoundland suspected to be from 1800s

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Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Researchers in Canada are hoping to identify a shipwreck that washed up in southwestern Newfoundland and appears to be from the 1800s.

Residents near J.T. Cheeseman Provincial Park discovered the large chunk of an old wooden hull in the shallow waters near Cape Ray, as well as some timbers that washed up on the sand.


Corey Purchase, owner of NiCor Photos, heard about the unusual scene and visited the shore so he could take drone video, which he posted to YouTube.

"It's a lot bigger than what I thought it would be," Purchase told SaltWire. "And I think what we can see is only half of it because it looks like it was broken off."

Neil Burgess, president of the Shipwreck Preservation Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, viewed Purchase's video.

"It's just a wild guess right now but, from looking at photos and drone image, it probably is from the 1800s," Burgess said.

Burgess is planning to visit the wreckage in person with a team from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts and Recreation's Provincial Archaeology Office.

"If it's oak or beech or a hardwood species like that, it will tell us it wasn't made here in Newfoundland and was probably made over in Europe somewhere," Burgess said. "There are databases of shipwrecks we can search for what was recorded as being lost around Cape Ray."


Purchase said the shipwreck was likely buried for over a century before being unearthed by storms including last year's Hurricane Fiona. He said this month's winter storms likely gave the wreckage a final push toward the shore.

Provincial archaeologist Jamie Brake urged residents who visit the park to view the shipwreck not to attempt to take home any souvenirs.

"Our chances of learning something from this are always higher if it's in as good condition and is as intact as possible," Brake said.

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