(UPI) A visitor to a northern Florida beach discovered the erosion from Hurricane Eta had uncovered something surprising in the sand -- a shipwreck from the 1800s.
The St. Augustine Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program said Mark O'Donoghue was walking on Crescent Beach after the storm left the area earlier in November when he spotted pieces of the shipwreck peeking out from the sand.
"I just saw some timbers that were uncovered by erosion on the sand on the beach," O'Donoghue told WJAX-TV.
He said he returned the following day and saw even more timbers in the sand, leading him to report the discovery to the St. Augustine Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program.
Chuck Meide, director of the organization, said initial examinations indicate the discovery could be the wreckage of the Caroline Eddy, a U.S. merchant ship that sank in the 1800s.
"Everything we've seen on it so far fits that hypothesis: wooden planking, wood timbers, iron fasteners," Meide said. They look quite similar to other ships from the 1800s that we have seen.
He said more research is required before the wreck's identity can be confirmed.
"In late August 1880, the Caroline Eddy left Fernandina bound for New York with a cargo of lumber. She sailed into a hurricane, was driven south and went ashore near Matanzas. Her crew survived after clinging to the rigging for two days and a night," the National Park Service said in a Facebook post.Copyright 2020 by United Press International