A shipwreck that is believed to be centuries old has washed up on shore after a tropical storm dislodged the vessel.
The 19th-century ship has been discovered at Cape Ray Beach, in Newfoundland, Canada, with scientists believing Hurricane Fiona could have dredged it up.
Officials are now working to preserve the shipwreck and learn more about its history.
The ship, which is believed to be more than 24 metres long, is suspected to have been built in the 19th century, due to the use of wood and copper in its construction.
A local team of researchers has been sent out to the beach to investigate the wreckage
It was first noticed by a bird hunter on January 20, who saw the wooden planks protruding out of the water. Word quickly spread around the small coastal community of 350 people of the newly discovered wreck.
Local Gordon Blackmore, 21, told CBC: “It’s amazing, there is no other word for it. I’m just curious if they can name the ship, how old it is and if there were any souls lost on her.”
Blackmore was stunned as he had visited the spot just a few days earlier and there was no shipwreck, so he proceeded to rush back to his family home to spread the news.
His mother, upon hearing of the discovery, sped down to the beach herself to see the wreck with her own eyes: “It’s amazing, there is no other word for it,” she told the Canadian press.
The ship is suspected to have been built in the 19th century due to the use of wood and copper in its construction
Neil Burgess, President of the Shipwreck Preservation Society of Newfoundland and Labrador told the Guardian that he suspects that the ship was freed due to the fierce winds of Hurricane Fiona, as well as coastal erosion.
He said: “This is a great, great event. If it’s oak or beech or a hardwood species like that, it will tell us it wasn’t made here in Newfoundland and was probably made over in Europe somewhere.”
A local team of researchers has been sent out to the beach to investigate. Databases should help them determine whether the ship was missing or is an unknown ship.
However, the investigation will be susceptible to the weather and the tides, which could potentially hinder when experts can reach the site.
Neil Burgess, President of the Shipwreck Preservation Society of Newfoundland and Labrador said that he suspects that the ship was freed due to the fierce winds of Hurricane Fiona
Some locals are concerned that strong tides could pull the wreck back into the ocean.
Resident Bert Osmond has been monitoring the ship soon after it was first discovered, and he has even tied a rope around it to try and secure the wreck from being dragged back to sea.
Meanwhile, others have visited the ship and pillaged souvenirs from it.
The community’s Facebook page has become a forum for locals to speculate about the origins of the mysterious ship, with residents trawling databases and history books to try and find any ties to the newly washed-up ship.
The Atlantic coast is filled with shipwrecks, due to its former status as a major shipping route.