The Shipwrecks & Treasure Thread

rynner2

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Experts search for mass grave of Royal Anne shipwreck off Lizard Cornwall
By WBGraeme | Posted: November 09, 2014

EXPERTS are hoping they can find the mass grave from a disastrous shipwreck off the Lizard 300 years ago.
Archaeologists know the rough area where more than 200 people were buried – but are now hoping to pinpoint the exact site.
...

http://www.westbriton.co.uk/Experts-sea ... story.html
Ha! I thought I'd posted on this before, but Search today is particularly useless. :rolleyes:

Further developments and info:

Archaeological dig will hunt for Lizard shipwreck mass grave of Royal Anne
By WBGraeme | Posted: September 08, 2015

AN archaeological dig will try to find the mass grave of more than 200 people who drowned in a disastrous shipwreck off The Lizard.
The National Trust has teamed up with experts from Bournemouth University, Maritime Archaeological Sea Trust (MAST) and The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Maritime Archaeology Society to survey Pistil meadow.

In November of 1721, 207 sailors lost their lives in a ferocious storm when their military transport galley, the Royal Anne, hit rocks and sank off Lizard Point. Three people survived by clinging to wreckage.
Among the dead was Lord Belhaven, who was leaving Britain to take up his newly-appointed posting as governor of Barbados in mysterious circumstances after the untimely death of his wife.

The Royal Anne was designed by the Marquis of Carmarthen and launched in 1709 as a small and speedy warship, designed to be powered by oar or sail so as not to be outmanoeuvred by pirates.
Her military postings had included protecting Russian trade off Norway, combating notorious Morocco-based pirates the Rovers of Sallee, and cruising Scottish waters during the Jacobite rebellion.

The wreck was found close inshore in the 1970s by divers who first located two guns, but its identity was only clinched in the 1990s by the discovery of silver cutlery with the Belhaven family crest.
The wreck site was protected in 1993 although the rocks and huge Atlantic swells meant only a scattering of objects survived.
Other finds have included coins, watch parts, copper bowls and cannon shot.

It is believed the crew were buried, as was customary at the time, in un-consecrated ground.
National Trust ranger Rachel Holder said: "The peaceful valley at Pistil just west of Lizard Point and 500m from the wreck site has always been linked with this dreadful event, being one of the few places where the shore can be accessed.

"Local lore has it that the Lizard folk who went to bury the bodies could not complete this mammoth grizzly task within the day, but when they returned next dawn, a pack of dogs had got their first and were tucking into a gruesome breakfast.
"To this day it is said dogs cower when passing through the meadow, perhaps in shame at the actions of their ancestors.
"The story of Pistil Meadow fired the imaginations of later generations, with the likes of Daphne du Maurier and Wilkie Collins taking an interest in the tale."

She said recent geophysical surveys, using electromagnetic techniques and ground penetrating radar, have located a anomalies that could indicate a mass grave.

National Trust archaeologist Jim Parry said: "Research so far has revealed a fascinating story about the Royal Anne and her crew, but it would be fantastic to be able to finally answer the question as to where her shipwreck victims were laid to rest.
"If Pistil is indeed the spot, it is an extremely rare occurrence to find such a site."

Mr Parry will lead a guided walk of the valley on Saturday, September 12, from the National Trust Lizard car park at 11am. The walk costs £2.50 per person plus additional parking charges for non-members. Dogs on leads are welcome and booking is not necessary.

http://www.westbriton.co.uk/Archaeo...ipwreck-mass/story-27756891-detail/story.html

More: http://www.thisismast.org/pistil-meadow-and-the-royal-anne.html

Elsewhere I find that Pistol Meadow is the grass slope just west of the Old Lifeboat Slipway. This must make it the furthest south burial site in Britain.
 

hunck

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"Local lore has it that the Lizard folk who went to bury the bodies could not complete this mammoth grizzly task within the day, but when they returned next dawn, a pack of dogs had got their first and were tucking into a gruesome breakfast.
I reckon this could be where David Icke got his idea from.
 

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Who really owns Helston's HMS Anson cannon and why should we care?
By WBGraeme | Posted: September 19, 2015

HELSTON'S cannon needs some tender loving care – but who actually owns the artillery piece?
The cannon stands outside the town's museum and was originally from HMS Anson, which was wrecked off Loe Bar in 1807.

Cornwall councillorJudith Haycock said she had been trawling though the archives of the minutes of meetings from the now defunct Helston Borough Council.
Mrs Haycock said the gun carriage needs repairing and added: "Hopefully something can be done to make it safe. It's been quite a trial of work looking to see who it belongs to."

It has always been stated previously that the cannon belonged to Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, whose divers salvaged it from the seabed in 19640.
But records at Helston Museum and newspaper reports say only that it was "given to the town".
The museum and most of its artifacts are owed by Cornwall Council, although the museum is run day-to-day by South Kerrier Heritage Trust.
However it is now suspected that the cannon was originally given to the borough council as a gift. How assets were transferred after the local government reorganisation also clouds the issue.

Discussing it at their last meeting, town councillor Ronnie Williams said his father was involved with winching it from the sea and taking it to Culdrose, where the carriage was originally built.
Helston mayor Mike tHomas added: "I would be surprised if it wasn't gifted to the borough council."
Ultimately, who ever actually owns the cannon could influence who has to pay for its repair.

The cannon has special significance for Helston because it was the terrible loss of life from the Anson – more than a 100 men so close to the shore – that inspired the town's Henry Trengrouse to develop his influential rocket-lifesaving line.

Helston solicitor Thomas Grylls also drafted a new law demanding the decent burial for shipwreck victims, after public outrage at Anson's mass grave. His law was introduced to parliament by Cornwall MP John Hearle Tremayne in 1808.

http://www.westbriton.co.uk/really-...-cannon-care/story-27823975-detail/story.html

IMG_2058.jpg
Helston Museum display of Trengrouse's rocket-lifesaving line, etc.​
 

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rynner2

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More a derelict than a wreck, but still interesting:
Remains of Henry V warship believed to be buried in Hampshire
Historian Ian Friel says remains deep in the mud of the river Hamble are of the Holigost, built for the king in 1415
Maev Kennedy
Monday 12 October 2015 06.00 BST

Deep in the oozing mud of the river Hamble in Hampshire, visible only at the lowest tides as a U-shaped ripple on the surface, possibly lies a ship that was one of the glories of Henry V’s navy.
Ian Friel, a historian who has devoted decades of research to Henry’s navy, believes it is the Holigost, built for the king in 1415 by recycling the hull of a captured Spanish warship, the Santa Clara.

Not an inch now shows above the surface, but Friel – whose book on Henry’s navy is published on Monday – has convinced Historic England to commission work including sonar surveys of the seabed, drone photography of the site and possibly wood sample dating.
The site is being considered for a protection order to defend it from treasure hunters, although it would have been stripped of any valuables when it was laid up.

Most of Henry’s navy comprised hired-in ships or privately owned merchant ships pressed into service, but the Holigost was one of the four ‘great ships’ commissioned by the king.
It was completed in November 1415, just too late to join the flotilla that ferried Henry, his soldiers and horses to the king’s victory at Agincourt in northern France, but suffered extensive damage in the thick of the fighting at the naval battle of Harfleur the following year, and was repaired in time to fight again in 1417.

The ship was repaired again in 1423 by a diver called Davy Owen, the first recorded instance of a diver used to make underwater repairs.

Henry himself may have sailed on it, as Friel found records of a royal cabin being added. The ship, built to terrorise and conquer the French, was painted with a French motto, Une sanz plus. “‘One and no more’ – in other words, the king alone is master,” said Friel. “Henry was making it perfectly clear – there’s God and there’s Henry, and that’s your lot.
“It may have been the humbler ships that actually did most of the work, but these great ships were floating symbols of power and prestige, richly ornamented with elaborate carvings, flying huge flags, towering over the much smaller merchant ships. They would have been, and were intended to be, an absolutely awe-inspiring sight.”

The ship was laid up in a specially built dock in the Hamble in the years after Henry’s death in 1422, and in its last years afloat was crewed by one man who had the unenviable responsibility of pumping and bailing day after day to keep the water out. Stripped of its mast, contents, and timbers from the superstructure including the cabins, it probably finally sank when the dock collapsed due to lack of maintenance, and has lain there ever since.

etc...

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...-v-warship-believed-to-be-buried-in-hampshire
 

rynner2

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Who really owns Helston's HMS Anson cannon and why should we care?
By WBGraeme | Posted: September 19, 2015

HELSTON'S cannon needs some tender loving care – but who actually owns the artillery piece?
The cannon stands outside the town's museum and was originally from HMS Anson, which was wrecked off Loe Bar in 1807.
...

http://www.westbriton.co.uk/really-...-cannon-care/story-27823975-detail/story.html
Helston Museum HMS Anson cannon to be removed for repairs
By WBGraeme | Posted: November 20, 2015

IT will be a military operation to shift Helston's cannon, which is being taken away next week for repairs.
The naval artillery piece outside the town museum is heading back to RNAS Culdrose so that the wooden mounting can be fixed.

It was recovered in the 1960s by navy divers from the wreck of HMS Anson off Loe Bar.
It is now part of the museum which is managed by South Kerrier Heritage Trust.

Chairwoman Judith Haycock said she had been working with staff at Culdrose.
"The cannon is extremely heavy and Culdrose has the equipment and skills to do the work, which was last done by them in the early 1990's.
"This week they expect to take the cannon and carriage away to their workshops.
"We were really grateful when Culdrose offered to do the maintenance work.
"The cannon is important to people in Helston and the museum, we need to make sure it is looked after. Once the work has been completed it will be return to its original position."

http://www.westbriton.co.uk/Helston-Museum-cannon-removed/story-28212163-detail/story.html
 

rynner2

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Navy removes cannon from wrecked warship HMS Anson from outside Helston Museum
By WBGraeme | Posted: November 27, 2015

HELSTON'S HMS Anson cannon was taken away this morning for repairs.
A lorry from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose performed the tricky operation of lifting the artillery piece away, while staff and volunteers from Helston Museum watched on.
The naval artillery piece has been removed so the wooden mounting can be fixed.
...

http://www.westbriton.co.uk/Navy-re...on-outside/story-28253990-detail/story.html#1

Small photo gallery on page.
 

rynner2

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Spanish galleon with rumoured £1bn treasure hoard found, says Colombia's president
The San José sank off the coast of Cartagena in 1708 and is thought to be laden with emeralds and gold and silver coins
Reuters
Saturday 5 December 2015 03.01 GMT

“Great news! We have found the San José galleon. Tomorrow we will provide details at a press conference from Cartagena,” Santos tweeted.

The San José sank in 1708 in the Caribbean Sea close to the walled port city of Cartagena and is said to be carrying a hoard worth £1bn. It was part of the fleet of King Philip V as he fought the English during the War of the Spanish Succession.

The government’s claim on Friday did not shed light on a legal wrangle with Sea Search Armada (SSA), a US-based salvage company which had a longstanding suit against Bogota over ownership of the wreck. SSA said in 1981 it had located the area in which the ship sank.

SSA and the government were partners back then and, following international custom, they agreed to split any proceeds. The government later said any treasure would belong to Colombia.
In 2011 a US court declared the galleon the property of the Colombian state.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/20...treasure-hoard-found-says-colombias-president
 

rynner2

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I learn a lot from Antiques progammes on TV. Today I heard a story I'd not heard before, about a famous shipwreck, that of the troop ship HMS Birkenhead off the coast of South Africa:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Birkenhead_(1845)

Her sinking in 1852 was the origin of the phrase "Women and children first!"

But I didn't know the story of Cornet Ralph Shelton. In Antiques Road Trip today, Paul Laidlaw visited Shelton's family home in Armagh and heard his story, which commences at 22m 29s in on this iPlayer recording:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b06vqpmc/antiques-road-trip-series-12-episode-2

Shelton survived the 'Birkenhead drill' (as Ruyard Kipling later called it), and a three hour swim to shore, where he got a pleasant surprise...

There must be more on Ralph Shelton on the web, but all I've found so far is this:

12th Lancers now The 9th/12th Royal Lancers

Cornet Ralph Shelton Bond (sometimes Bond-Shelton ) " S " An Officer who came from Co Armagh, Ireland. An artist who drew a very fine picture of the Birkenhead. See David Bevan’s book ‘ Stand Fast ‘, Page 88. He helped the women and children get away and also helped push the horses on deck overboard. When he finally swam ashore, he found his own horse on the beach! Where is the original of this drawing now?

http://www.birkenhead.za.net/findrelatives.htm

According to A.R.T, the horse was brought back home, and was known as the Birkenhead Horse!

A final footnote - there was treasure too, but nobody has found it...


 

rynner2

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Storms reveal the 130-year-old wreck of the Jeune Hortense at Long Rock
By cmjohnw | Posted: January 02, 2016

The recent storms have once again exposed the likely remains of a French vessel which ran aground at Long Rock almost 130 years ago.
On May 17, 1888, the Jeune Hortense was swept on to the beach while trying to land the body of a Fowey man who had died in France.

The Penzance lifeboat Dora was pulled to the shore by a horse and carriage before rowing out to the brigantine and rescuing the four crew members.

She carried 450 head of cattle, most of which were saved, but it proved impossible to re-float the boat.
For most of the time, her remains lie under the sand, more or less where she went aground, but every few years, the sand is washed away and her hull is exposed.

These 8 pictures were taken by local resident Tony Trewern earlier this week.
A similar photograph was published in The Cornishman five years ago, in July 2010, taken by reader Frank Howie who was investigating the bay's fossil forest at the time.

A contemporary photograph of the wreck was taken in 1888 by Alexander Gibson, part of the family of professional photographers from the Isles of Scilly.

http://www.cornishman.co.uk/Storms-...e-Hortense/story-28446593-detail/story.html#1

Alexander Gibson's photo
 

JamesWhitehead

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I second that!

Synchronistically . . .

I am currently engrossed in Robert Louis Stevenson's story The Merry Men. Not very merry and nothing to do with Robin Hood! The Scots dialect is laid on with a trowel but it weaves a wonderful spell. The subject matter should appeal to readers of this thread! :)
 

rynner2

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Sea level rise since the last ice age has submerged many forests in southern Britain, especially in the South West and west Wales.

But in Scottyland the land is rising faster than the sea level (because the weight of the glaciers has gone), so no drowned forests up there.

Prolly more info on Drowned Kingdoms, etc.
 

rynner2

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WW1 U-boat mystery solved after wreck discovered by offshore wind farm developers
Wreck of German submarine missing since 1915 was unexpected discovery by energy companies surveying seabed to plan wind farms
[Video]
By Emily Gosden, video source Lamlash North Sea Diving/Carl van Dijk
7:45PM GMT 20 Jan 2016

The mystery over the fate of a German First World War U-boat has been resolved a century after it went missing – after its wreck was discovered by offshore wind farm developers.

The SM U-31 submarine disappeared after setting off from Wilhelmshaven in January 1915 on routine patrol, with 4 officers and 31 men on board.
Although it was widely believed to have struck a mine and sunk, it was the subject of an unsubstantiated war legend – apparently begun by the commander of another U-boat – claiming it had washed ashore in eastern England six months later with all the crew dead on board.
The tale – which suggested the crew might have been poisoned by an on-board gas leak – appears to have finally been debunked after the discovery of its wreck, 55 miles off the coast of East Anglia.

Energy companies ScottishPower and Vattenfall, which were carrying out seabed surveys in order to plan the construction of proposed offshore wind farms, first discovered the uncharted submarine wreck in 2012.

It was initially thought it could be the Dutch Navy’s final missing World War Two submarine – but divers have now confirmed it is the missing U-31 submarine.

Mark Dunkley, marine archaeologist at Historic England, said: "SM U-31 was commissioned into the Imperial German Navy in September 1914. On 13th January 1915, the U-31 slipped its mooring and sailed north-west from Wilhelmshaven for a routine patrol and disappeared.
"It is thought that U-31 had struck a mine off England’s east coast and sank with the loss of its entire complement of 4 officers, 31 men.
"After being on the seabed for over a century, the submarine appears to be in a remarkable condition with the conning tower present and the bows partially buried.
"Relatives and descendants of those lost in the U-31 may now take some comfort in knowing the final resting place of the crew and the discovery serves as a poignant reminder of all those lost at sea, on land and in the air during the First World War."

The wreck will remain in its final resting place, which is now an official military maritime grave, and any future wind farm developments in the area will be designed so as not to disturb the wreck.
Charlie Jordan, of ScottishPower Renewables, said: "The scanning team were expecting to see wrecks, but such a discovery was quite a surprise and has been extremely interesting.
"Unravelling the whole story behind the submarine has been fascinating and it’s heartening to know that the discovery will provide closure to relatives and descendants of the submariners lost who may have always wondered what had happened to their loved ones."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/...covered-by-offshore-wind-farm-developers.html

Photos, etc, on page.
 

Swifty

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The ruins of The Fernebo have just been re-uncovered to the north of Cromer pier ... the RNLI posted pictures of the remains on the 11th of Feb through facebook. I'm not registered with facebook but I'll get some pics here of it. Henry Blogg was part of the lifeboatmen, they were all at sea for 14 hours and they all received gold medals for bravery for saving lives ..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNLB_Louisa_Heartwell_(ON_495)

.. a pic of it exposed in 2008

http://www.scilogs.com/ieditor/the-shipwreck/
 
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rynner2

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Marine archaeologists discover rare artefacts at 1503 shipwreck site
British-led team off coast of Oman find the Esmeralda, the earliest wreck ever found from the European ‘Age of Discovery’
Esther Addley
Tuesday 15 March 2016 17.03 GMT

A British-led archaeological expedition has uncovered the 500-year-old wreck site of what it claims is the earliest ship ever found from Europe’s “Age of Discovery”, a Portuguese vessel that was captained by an uncle of the legendary explorer Vasco da Gama.
The Esmerelda was one of two ships that sank in a storm off the coast of Oman in 1503, only five years after da Gama discovered the first sea route from Europe to India.

After three years of excavation and historical and scientific research, the archaeologists, who included teams from Bournemouth University and Oman’s ministry of culture, announced that they had found the site of the wreck, and with it a collection of artefacts including one of the rarest coins in the world and what may be part of a previously unknown maritime astrolabe.

David Mearns, director of West Sussex-based Blue Water Recoveries which led the expedition, told the Guardian the major significance of the find was the date of its sinking, very early in the period when a handful of European maritime powers were racing to discover and exploit new routes to the east.
“This is the earliest ship [from the period of European maritime exploration of Asia] that has been found by a long stretch,” he said. “If you consider that that pre-colonial period started on a major basis with Columbus, in 1492, this is just a decade after that.”

The ship sank in a storm off the coast of what is now the small Omani island of Al-Hallaniyah in 1503, with the loss of all crew and of its captain Vicente Sodre, a maternal uncle of da Gama.

Because it broke up in shallow waters, very little of the ship itself has survived, but thousands of artefacts were uncovered from the sand in the shallow bay. Among them was an incredibly rare silver coin called an indio, of which only one other is known to exist. The coins were forged in 1499 after da Gama’s first voyage to India, which helps date the wreckage, Mearns said. Stone cannonballs appearing to bear Sodre’s initials were also discovered.

However Mearns said the most exciting discovery was a metal disc bearing the Portuguese coat of arms and an image of an armillary sphere, a model of celestial globe, which was the personal emblem of the then King of Portugal. The archaeologists have speculated that it may be a component part of a type of astrolabe, a navigational device, but are not certain, he said.
“There’s no doubt it’s a very important object. It’s made of valuable material, it’s got these two iconic symbols on it, they don’t just stamp those things onto any piece of equipment on a ship. This was an important thing, but what was it?” He said he hoped other experts would now add their input to help identify the object.

“What’s really exciting about this discovery being so early, this may be something nobody has ever seen before, and that’s challenging for the archaeologists but also fun and exciting.”

etc...

https://www.theguardian.com/science...iscover-rare-artefacts-at-1503-shipwreck-site
 

rynner2

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Video:
USS Conestoga wreckage found off California after 95 years
23 March 2016 Last updated at 22:57 GMT

A US Navy tug, missing since 1921, has been found near one of the Farallones Islands, about 30 miles (50 km) west of San Francisco.
The USS Conestoga disappeared after leaving San Francisco on March 25, 1921, en route to American Samoa.

The disappearance sparked an air and sea search, but the tug and its 56 crew were declared lost in June that year.
Investigators believe the Conestoga sank as it tried to reach a protected cove to escape heavy winds and rough seas.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-35887893
 

rynner2

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Lost ships and aircraft recorded in sea off Scotland
By Steven McKenzie BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter

Archaeologists working with communities along Scotland's west coast have documented more than 100 shipwrecks and maritime artefacts.
The remains of lost World War Two flying boats and anchors from the 18th Century were also investigated and recorded.

The finds were made during the newly-completed three-year Project Samphire.
It involved archaeologists from Scotland and Australia and was funded by the Crown Estate.

Communities from Cape Wrath in the far north to the Solway Firth in the south of Scotland were involved.
A team of maritime archaeologists based in Edinburgh, at WA Coastal & Marine, and also Flinders University of South Australia, led the survey work.
Among the project's highlights were the recording of a group of previously unreported WW2 flying boats in the Firth of Lorn in Argyll.

Divers and fishermen also guided the project team to the locations of 18th, 19th and 20th century shipwrecks.
Wreck sites recorded included that of the Hersilia, an armed iron naval yacht lost in Loch Torridon in 1916, and the Yemassee, an American cargo ship that got into difficulty in Skye's Loch Bharcasaig in 1859.

Also recorded in Loch Torridon were the sites of the Sheila, a ferry that sank in 1927, and another vessel sent to recover it. The Mafeking was lost during the attempted salvage operation.

Near Iona, the archaeologists documented the wreck site of Cathcartpark, a steamship loaded with salt that ran aground on 15 April 1912, the same day the Titanic sank.

The probable remains of Wigtown-based schooner Monreith at Kirkcudbright, and ships' cannons at Shieldaig in the Highlands were also examined.
The project also made 3D scans of ancient grave slabs at Keil in Argyll. Among the carvings on the stones are representations of medieval ships known as Highland galleys.

John McCarthy, of WA Coastal & Marine, thanked scallop divers, beach combers, dive clubs and also scientists at the Scottish Association of Marine Science, near Oban, for their help with the research.
He said: "This project reveals the wealth of knowledge of maritime archaeological sites held within local communities.
"The knowledge gained during the project will help to enrich our knowledge of Scotland's maritime heritage and this will help us to manage and protect this resource for future generations."

The Crown Estate's asset manager, Paul Bancks, added: "What has made the Samphire project special is the way it has harnessed local knowledge to inform how and where investigations took place.
"It's been fascinating to see the discoveries the marine archaeologists have uncovered, with many finds reminding us that leisure, trade, and even conflict have all been played out on the waters around Scotland for many hundreds of years."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-36148771

Many good photos on page.
 
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Endeavour: Has the ship Captain Cook sailed to Australia been found?

Researchers in the US believe they may be a step closer to locating the ship in which British explorer Captain James Cook sailed to Australia in 1768.
The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (Rimap) has known for some time the ship was scuttled in Newport Harbour in 1778.
But they now believe they have narrowed down the search to a cluster of five shipwrecks on the seafloor.

The researchers plan to investigate the ships and their artefacts further.
They are also appealing for funds to build the right facilities for handling and storing items retrieved from the sea.
"All of the 13 ships lost in Newport during the Revolution are important to American history, but it will be a national celebration in Australia when RIMAP identifies the Lord Sandwich ex Endeavour," the researchers said in a statement.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-36189421

http://www.rimap.org/SitePages/About RIMAP.aspx
 

rynner2

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Despite my interest in Cook and his voyages, I don't think I ever heard what finally happened to the ship itself.

The Australian-built replica Endeavour has been to Falmouth at least twice, and I have a few photos of it:

but, Ha Ha, the only ones on this computer are of the Space Shuttle Endeavour! (The sailing ship pictures must still be on back up discs.) But the Shuttle is not completely irrelevant, because it was named after Captain Cook's ship, which is why the name is spelled the British way. (I wish someone would tell this to the Win 10 spellchecker! :fckpc:)

IMG_0638.jpg
Last Launch of Endeavour, May 16, 2011, to the International Space Station. (Photo taken from a TV screen).
 
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Lost ships and aircraft recorded in sea off Scotland
By Steven McKenzie BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter

Archaeologists working with communities along Scotland's west coast have documented more than 100 shipwrecks and maritime artefacts.
The remains of lost World War Two flying boats and anchors from the 18th Century were also investigated and recorded.

The finds were made during the newly-completed three-year Project Samphire.
It involved archaeologists from Scotland and Australia and was funded by the Crown Estate.

Communities from Cape Wrath in the far north to the Solway Firth in the south of Scotland were involved.
A team of maritime archaeologists based in Edinburgh, at WA Coastal & Marine, and also Flinders University of South Australia, led the survey work.
Among the project's highlights were the recording of a group of previously unreported WW2 flying boats in the Firth of Lorn in Argyll.

Divers and fishermen also guided the project team to the locations of 18th, 19th and 20th century shipwrecks.
Wreck sites recorded included that of the Hersilia, an armed iron naval yacht lost in Loch Torridon in 1916, and the Yemassee, an American cargo ship that got into difficulty in Skye's Loch Bharcasaig in 1859.

Also recorded in Loch Torridon were the sites of the Sheila, a ferry that sank in 1927, and another vessel sent to recover it. The Mafeking was lost during the attempted salvage operation.

Near Iona, the archaeologists documented the wreck site of Cathcartpark, a steamship loaded with salt that ran aground on 15 April 1912, the same day the Titanic sank.

The probable remains of Wigtown-based schooner Monreith at Kirkcudbright, and ships' cannons at Shieldaig in the Highlands were also examined.
The project also made 3D scans of ancient grave slabs at Keil in Argyll. Among the carvings on the stones are representations of medieval ships known as Highland galleys.

John McCarthy, of WA Coastal & Marine, thanked scallop divers, beach combers, dive clubs and also scientists at the Scottish Association of Marine Science, near Oban, for their help with the research.
He said: "This project reveals the wealth of knowledge of maritime archaeological sites held within local communities.
"The knowledge gained during the project will help to enrich our knowledge of Scotland's maritime heritage and this will help us to manage and protect this resource for future generations."

The Crown Estate's asset manager, Paul Bancks, added: "What has made the Samphire project special is the way it has harnessed local knowledge to inform how and where investigations took place.
"It's been fascinating to see the discoveries the marine archaeologists have uncovered, with many finds reminding us that leisure, trade, and even conflict have all been played out on the waters around Scotland for many hundreds of years."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-36148771

Many good photos on page.
A really interesting article. I Tweeted it & emailed it to people.
 

rynner2

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The Indie's version of the Endeavour story makes it clear that the ships were scuttled by the British to protect the harbour from the French:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...lagship-found-in-newport-harbor-a7011221.html

The big photo at head of the page shows the replica Endeavour entering Whitby Harbour. Whitby was Cook's first home port, and he learned seafaring on the colliers working from the NE coast. No surprise then that his Endeavour was originally a collier from that part of the world. (Although oddly, this website doesn't seem to mention the fact.)

http://www.whitby.co.uk/captain-james-cook/
 
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rynner2

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Mysterious shipwrecks lurking under waters of Plymouth Sound revealed in fascinating new map
By Sarah_Herald | Posted: May 05, 2016

Plymouth Sound has witnessed hundreds of maritime disasters – leaving masses of shipwrecks lurking beneath the water.

Many of these dramatic events have been recorded and can be easily researched online and in books, but many more have occurred unseen and forgotten about over the course of time.

That's why The Herald has created an interactive map to help you discover more about Plymouth's fascinating maritime history and the wrecks that lurk beneath the waves.
Click on the anchors below to discover more about the shipwrecks
[Map]

Historians and maritime researchers in the city have made it their mission to document the city's past, including the SHIPS project and Submerged.
SHIPS is a community enterprise which involves both volunteers and interns working alongside the ProMare team, who record and photograph any finds recovered from the sea to add to their knowledge about the history of Plymouth.

Others have done the same, including The Beach House Company, which has recently published a map detailing famous shipwrecks surrounding the Devon and Cornwall coast.
Rebecca Bennett, on behalf of the company said: "We are based in Cornwall, which in itself has a coastline of over 400 miles and a rich smuggling and maritime history. While lots of people are captivated by the sea views around the UK's coastline, it's what lies beneath the waves that is equally fascinating.
"Researching the wrecks was fascinating because so much of what has made Britain a great nation is because of how we explored, traded, and fought at sea.
"It's not until you properly look into it though that you realise how many amazing stories there are just off our coastline, and they're all preserved as these underwater museums, so it's a really interesting subject that's a lot closer to home than people might think."

City divers regularly delve beneath the surface of the Sound to see these wrecks close-up. But if diving isn't for you, the only other way to see them is through pictures.
The History Centre, set to open in 2020, will have a gallery dedicated to the 'Port of Plymouth', featuring an interactive map with projected images which will change as people move around it.

Naval figureheads from old ships will be displayed at the front of the new centre in North Hill, hanging from the ceiling and lit at night.

"Technology allows us to actually do things that are really interesting," said Nicola Moyle, head of arts and heritage at Plymouth City Council, "So as you walk into the Port of Plymouth you'll walk into this immersive landscape where effectively what we're creating is a three dimensional model, but we'll use clever projection technology which allows us to super impose film or what the landscape might have looked like in 1000 AD, and what it looks like today.

"It will feel like you're actually walking on the bottom of the Sound and seeing the projected images of the ship wrecks, which is very clever."

Divers explore shipwrecks HMS Scylla and the S.S Persier (below)
[video - 6m 17s]

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Mys...ers-Plymouth/story-29233643-detail/story.html
 

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Britain’s biggest ever gold nugget 'worth £50,000' discovered near treasure-laden shipwreck in Wales
Lydia Willgress
10 May 2016 12:31pm

Britain’s biggest ever gold nugget worth an estimated £50,000 has been discovered near a treasure-laden shipwreck in Wales.
Vincent Thurkettle discovered the 3oz (97g) nugget, which is the same size as a small chicken’s egg, on the seabed just off the coast of Anglesey in 2012.

The 60-year-old gold prospector kept his find a secret for four years so he could continue to search the area for gold - only going public once he was sure there was no more there.
He has now spoken out about his delight at finding the 23-carat nugget, which is believed to be part of a £120million haul that went down with the Royal Charter when it was shipwrecked during a hurricane in 1859.

Mr Thurkettle said he was “absolutely stunned” when he saw the glimmer of gold, adding: “The sun was out so the gold was gleaming and because it was under water it was magnified, so it looked huge.
"I was really only expecting to find gold dust so I couldn't believe it when I realised it was a huge nugget, it was a magical moment.
"My first thought was that I had only ever seen nuggets like it in a museum. I didn't want to touch it at first, just to savour the extraordinary moment and burn into my memory how beautiful it looked.”

The discovery came after treasure hunters spent 150 years trying to find traces of gold following the loss of the ship, which was travelling from Australia to Liverpool when it sank on October 26, 1859. Around 450 people died in the tragedy.

Mr Thurkettle scoured the shore for seven summers before he was rewarded for his efforts.
He found the nugget, which is twice as heavy as the UK’s second biggest piece of gold, five metres below the water and around 40 metres from the shipwreck.
He added: "I've spent 39 years prospecting and I have handled a lot of gold nuggets but I never thought I would find such a large one myself."

As the find was so close to a shipwreck Mr Thurkettle had to notify the Receiver of Wreck and the piece is now property of the Crown.
It is being kept in a safe place until it eventually goes on display in a museum. Mr Thurkettle expects to receive a finder's fee but believes the nugget could fetch as much as £50,000 if it were auctioned.

He added: "It has broken my heart to part with the nugget but I think it is important that it ends up in a museum for everyone to see.
"I had grown very fond of it. Other pieces I have found before have been quartz with gold in, but this was a big lump of gold with bits of quartz in.
"It just goes to prove that if you go out and about in the British countryside and get stuck in you can still make spectacular discoveries."

Britain's second biggest nugget was the Carnon Nugget found in Cornwall in 1808 and weighing 2.08oz (59g). The Rutherford Nugget, which was found in Scotland in 1869, comes in third at 2.04oz (57.9g).

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...r-gold-nugget-worth-50000-discovered-in-wale/
 

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Diver claims to have found UK submarine wreck off Sardinia
Associated Press in Rome
Wednesday 25 May 2016 19.34 BST

Diver Massimo Bondone told the La Nuova Sardegna daily he found the P311 at a depth of 80 metres (262 ft) off the isle of Tavolara during a dive last weekend.
Paola Pegoraro of the Orso diving club, which provided logistics for the dive, told the Associated Press the sub had been positively identified by the two Chariot “manned torpedoes” affixed to the outside.

The P311 left Malta in December 1942 with 71 crew to take part in Operation Principle, an Allied attack on Italian warships off Sardinia.
According to the online resource Naval History, contact was lost on December 31 after the sub apparently hit a mine.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/20...to-have-found-uk-submarine-wreck-off-sardinia
 
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Diver claims to have found UK submarine wreck off Sardinia
Associated Press in Rome
Wednesday 25 May 2016 19.34 BST

Diver Massimo Bondone told the La Nuova Sardegna daily he found the P311 at a depth of 80 metres (262 ft) off the isle of Tavolara during a dive last weekend.
Paola Pegoraro of the Orso diving club, which provided logistics for the dive, told the Associated Press the sub had been positively identified by the two Chariot “manned torpedoes” affixed to the outside.

The P311 left Malta in December 1942 with 71 crew to take part in Operation Principle, an Allied attack on Italian warships off Sardinia.
According to the online resource Naval History, contact was lost on December 31 after the sub apparently hit a mine.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/20...to-have-found-uk-submarine-wreck-off-sardinia
Hopefully the remains of the crew will be recovered and re-interred with full military honours.
 

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Diver claims to have found UK submarine wreck off Sardinia
Associated Press in Rome
Wednesday 25 May 2016 19.34 BST

Diver Massimo Bondone told the La Nuova Sardegna daily he found the P311 at a depth of 80 metres (262 ft) off the isle of Tavolara during a dive last weekend.
Paola Pegoraro of the Orso diving club, which provided logistics for the dive, told the Associated Press the sub had been positively identified by the two Chariot “manned torpedoes” affixed to the outside.

The P311 left Malta in December 1942 with 71 crew to take part in Operation Principle, an Allied attack on Italian warships off Sardinia.
According to the online resource Naval History, contact was lost on December 31 after the sub apparently hit a mine.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/20...to-have-found-uk-submarine-wreck-off-sardinia

Interestingly this submarine was due to be named Tutankhamen but was sunk before it had the chance to be named.

The sub went down 20 years and one month after the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb by Howard Carter.

I've never heard the two events connected before, perhaps another embellishment to add to the Curse of Tutankhamen tale – which we strangely seem to have no thread about.
 
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