Volusia County

Archaeologists: Mystery object unearthed by hurricanes in Volusia County could be 1800s cargo ship

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Archaeologists think they’ve identified the mystery object that was unearthed by beach erosion caused by hurricanes Ian and Nicole in Volusia County.


They think the object, which they believe was buried under more than 5 feet of sand just south of Frank Rendon Park, may be a cargo ship from the 1800s.

St. Augustine Lighthouse Archaeologist Chuck Meide confirmed that the object is, in fact, a shipwreck.

“The shipwreck is most likely a cargo-carrying sailing vessel from the 1800s. It would have likely sailed within sight of the coast and used lighthouses for navigation, though it was probably big enough to cross the Atlantic as well,” Meide said.

Read: Brevard County leaders consider $20 million plan to restore beaches damaged by hurricanes

The wreckage is estimated to be between 80 and 100 feet long.

State archaeologists will analyze the material to get a better idea of its age and look at Maritime Records to possibly identify it, but that could take months.

Read: Mysterious structure unearthed by erosion in Volusia County

Archaeologists believe it may have been a cargo ship that was following the coast when it sunk, possibly during a storm.

Officials said the site is very fragile and any disruption could compromise it. Removing anything from the site without permission is a third-degree felony.

Photos: Archaeologists work to uncover mystery object unearthed by Volusia County beach erosion

See photos and video below:

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.

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