Usually, people have to scour the depths of the ocean to find old, missing ships that met their doom in the high seas. On Wednesday, a centuries-old vessel saved researchers the trouble and washed up on Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida, Action News Jax reported.
Local resident Julie Turner and her young son were walking along the beach Wednesday morning when they happened upon the wreckage, which amounted a large part of the ship’s hull. It was determined that the ship dated back to the 1800s or perhaps even earlier.
A team of archaeologists surveyed the ship to assess the situation, but the state of Florida ultimately has authority over what happens to it, as it washed up on state land. Unfortunately, those who want to preserve and study the wreckage are worried the same tides that brought the ship to them could soon take it back to the ocean, Action News Jax reported Friday.
— ActionNewsJax (@ActionNewsJax) March 30, 2018
Efforts to move the hull to a safer place have been thwarted by the difficulty of operating heavy machinery in sand, as well as the fragility of the vessel itself. Even if they found a way to move it, it could break apart in the process.
Action News Jax captured video of scientists taking exhaustive measurements of every part of the ship, just in case they do not get another opportunity to study it.
Archaeologists take measurements so they have recordings about the ship. It’s a struggle to keep it all intact until it’s safely moved. 1/3 already eroded away. @ActionNewsJax @WOKVNews pic.twitter.com/r3IVII7q1j
— Varisa Lall Dass Action News Jax (@VarisaANJax) March 30, 2018
Onlookers can come look at the ship, but it has been taped off to prevent unwanted interference from the public. One local resident hoped it could be taken somewhere and preserved for enthusiasts to see.
“I think it should be moved to a museum so future generations can see it,” Cocoa Reep told the publication.
As a coastal state, Florida has seen its fair share of aged vessels pop up over the years. In 2015, a 300-year-old Spanish ship was found to contain over $1 million worth of gold coins.