Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Shipwreck found in depths of gulf

NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer program provided this photo of the relatively well-preserved shipwreck about 200 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Researchers are unsure whether it was a military, merchant or pirate ship.

Associated Press

NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer program provided this photo of the relatively well-preserved shipwreck about 200 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Researchers are unsure whether it was a military, merchant or pirate ship.

An oil company exploration crew's chance discovery of a 200-year-old shipwreck in a little-charted stretch of the Gulf of Mexico is yielding a trove of new information to scientists who say it's one of the most well-preserved old wrecks ever found in the gulf.

"When we saw it we were all just astonished because it was beautifully preserved, and by that I mean for a 200-year-old shipwreck," said Jack Irion, maritime archaeologist with the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in New Orleans.

Video shows muskets and gin bottles littering the gulf bottom, along with sea life mingling in the wreck.

Scientists say the ship is about 200 miles off the northern Gulf Coast and about 4,000 feet deep. The depth has kept it largely undisturbed during two centuries of storms and hurricanes. Although most of the ship's wood dissolved long ago, the copper hull and its contents remain intact.

The ship's kitchen stove was found intact.

"Very few shipwrecks have been found that still have the stove intact," Irion said. "You can very clearly see the features of the stove. It's in rather good shape."

Also discovered were an anchor, cannons and muskets. Irion said researchers have not yet determined whether it was a merchant, military or pirate ship.

There was plenty of pirate and military activity in the gulf at the time, surrounding the War of 1812, the Texas Revolution and the Mexican-American War. The buccaneer Jean Lafitte and other pirates sailed the Gulf to smuggle goods into New Orleans, Galveston, Texas, and elsewhere.

Researchers believe the ship likely sank during a storm.

Shipwreck found in depths of gulf 05/18/12 [Last modified: Friday, May 18, 2012 11:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays rally comes up short, freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays showed a little bit of offense on Saturday, but that wasn't enough to change the results that are becoming ridiculously routine, the 7-6 loss to Seattle the 12th in their last 15 games and 21st of their last 30.

    Rays first baseman Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth inning.
  2. 'Free speech rally' cut short after massive counterprotest

    Nation

    BOSTON — Thousands of demonstrators chanting anti-Nazi slogans converged Saturday on downtown Boston in a boisterous repudiation of white nationalism, dwarfing a small group of conservatives who cut short their planned "free speech rally" a week after a gathering of hate groups led to bloodshed in Virginia.

    Thousands of people march against a “free speech rally” planned Saturday in Boston. About 40,000 people were in attendance.
  3. Police pull unconscious New Port Richey man from SUV in Cotee River

    Accidents

    NEW PORT RICHEY — Police rescued an unconscious driver whose sport utility vehicle plunged into the Cotee River on Saturday.

  4. Analysis: Bannon is out, but his agenda may live on

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — In his West Wing office, Stephen Bannon kept a chart listing trade actions — on China, steel and autos — that the Trump White House planned to roll out, week by week, through the fall. Now that Bannon, the president's chief strategist, has been pushed out, the question is whether his …

    Steve Bannon thinks he could be more effective influencing policy from outside the White House.
  5. Trump to skip Kennedy Center Honors awards program

    Politics

    BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Acknowledging that he has become a "political distraction," President Donald Trump has decided to skip the festivities surrounding the annual Kennedy Center Honors arts awards later this year, the White House announced Saturday amid the continuing fallout over Trump's stance on last weekend's …