A shipwreck, believed to date back to the 19th century, surfaced on the remote Canadian coast of Cape Ray, Newfoundland, creating a buzz among the approximately 250 residents in the small community.
Community’s Reaction and Engagement:
Locals, intrigued by the historical find, actively engaged with the shipwreck. They took pictures with parts of the wooden vessel, urging authorities to secure the structure and sparking speculation on social media about its enigmatic origins.
Aerial Exploration with Drone Photography:
Corey Purchase, a local photographer, responded to community discussions on Facebook by using a drone to capture aerial photos. The images provided a comprehensive view of the ship, estimating its length at about 90 feet.
Historical Context of Shipwrecks in Newfoundland:
Shipwrecks along the coast of Newfoundland are not uncommon, with a historical record of thousands over the past 500 years, according to Jamie Brake, the provincial archaeologist.
Unusual Size and Possible Hurricane Connection:
While shipwrecks are frequent in the region, the large size of this vessel washing ashore near Cape Ray Cove, coupled with the possibility that Hurricane Fiona in 2022 might have played a role, adds to the intrigue.
Survey and Speculation about Origin:
Neil Burgess, President of the Shipwreck Preservation Society of Newfoundland & Labrador, plans to survey the ship to gather insights into its origins. Initial observations suggest construction details aligning with the 1800s, such as the use of treenails and copper pegs.
Local Stories and Hope for Preservation:
The discovery of the shipwreck holds sentimental value for locals, connecting with family stories of shipwrecks from past generations. There’s a collective hope for the ship’s preservation, with discussions ranging from potential tourist attraction to concerns about it drifting away.
Community Efforts to Secure the Ship:
Concerns about the ship drifting prompted community members to seek assistance. Shawn Bath and Trevor Croft from Clean Harbors Initiative volunteered to secure the vessel using ropes and straps, preventing potential movement due to waves or storms.
Government’s Role and Potential Actions:
The Provincial Archaeology Office will play a pivotal role in determining the fate of the shipwreck. Previous government actions involved burying shipwrecks in the sand for preservation, leaving the possibility for future research.
Diverse Perspectives on the Shipwreck:
While some envision the shipwreck as a potential tourist attraction, others emphasize the importance of securing it to avoid drifting. The community remains actively involved, documenting the underwater footage to preserve the historical moment.
Anticipation and Excitement:
As the shipwreck represents a rare historical find, the community, including Shawn Bath and Trevor Croft, expresses excitement at the prospect of witnessing and documenting a relic unseen for possibly 100 to 200 years. The mystery surrounding the ship adds an extra layer of fascination.
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