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Researchers Discover Century Old Shipwreck On Ponte Vedra Beach

Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve

Researchers patrolling for turtles on Ponte Vedra Beach have discovered a beached shipwreck they believe could be more than 100 years old.

High winds and waves from the nor'easter that that blew through the area this week unearthed the wooden ribs and keel of the shipwreck.

About fifteen feet of the boat’s wooden ribs and keel are visible above the sand. 

Researchers stumbled upon the site Wednesday morning in the dunes just south of Ponte Vedra Beach, according to a release from the Guana Tolomato Matanzas (GTM) National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Researchers from St. Augustine’s Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) are investigating the wreck site.

They have yet to officially pinpoint the time period of the wreck, but based on some of the ironwork and ship’s build,  it’s most likely a shrimp boat from the early 1900s or late 1800s.

The group took initial measurements and will return to the site this afternoon for a full-scale assessment, including a scaled drawing that will help the archeologists research the ship’s origins. Local media have been invited to see the site at that time as well.

You can follow Patrick Donges at @patrickhdonges.

Patrick Donges served as WJCT's Digital Content Editor from August 2013 - August 2014.