Friday, June 9, 2023

Wreckage found on Outer Banks beach sparks debate

HARKER’S ISLAND, NC (AP) – A mystery has resurfaced on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, as the waves continue to uncover a shipwreck that defies easy identification.

According to the National Park Service, the hull—held together by nails and rusted strips of iron—appeared over the summer at Cape Lookout National Seashore.

Park officials wrote on December 7, “It is frequently visible on the South Core Banks on the beach about 6 miles above the lighthouse.”

However, the identity of the “skeleton” remains unclear even to experts. It has sparked an ongoing social media debate – more than 2,000 responses and comments so far – with maritime history buffs offering theories on the ship’s history and speculating about which pieces have survived through the decades.

More than half a dozen possibilities have been offered, including several claiming it is the Olive Thurlow, which went down during a storm in 1902. However, the National Park Service says it is definitely not Thurlow, which is “under water near its connection to Barden Inlet”. ,

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North Carolina’s coastline – known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic – is home to thousands of shipwrecks, many of which have been identified, profiled and mapped by historians.

As a result, the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort believes the puzzle may have the answer.

“The shipwreck that ended up on the beach many years ago has finally been broken up and taken over,” the museum posted on Facebook on December 7.

“We are not exactly sure which it is, but the present is leaning towards the schooner Joseph Rudd, which was wrecked on the shoals on March 22, 1890, but was found the next morning about 4 miles north of the lighthouse went to the beach.”

The three-masted Rudd was laden with lumber and headed for New York City when it ran aground in “very heavy and dangerous” conditions. According to North Carolina Shipwreck, all seven aboard were saved, but the ship was beyond help.

“She had her port side stowed, the sails (except the foresail and jib) were blown out, after the deck load and house were washed away, and the foremast had settled,” reports the site.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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