Video: Mysterious shipwreck appears on Newfoundland coast

Shawn Bath Facebook

A mysterious shipwreck has washed up on a sandy beach in Cape Ray, Newfoundland, Canada.

Experts believe the vessel may date from the 19th century and was likely dislodged during storm Fiona, which hit Canada in September 2022, causing widespread damage.

Not much is known yet about the ship’s origins or how it suddenly appeared on the coast of Cape Ray, a small community home to around 350 people.

Neil Burgess, president of the Shipwreck Preservation Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, told the Canadian Press that he suspects the ship was freed by a combination of coastal erosion and the force of post-tropical storm Fiona. Recent large ocean swells may have finally nudged the wreck free, causing it to be washed towards shore, he says.

“This is perfect,” he says. “This is a great, great event.”

Local authorities have sent a team to study the shipwreck to identify and preserve as much as possible. Locals fear that strong waves may pull the wreck back into the depths before the team reaches it. There’s also the danger of sea ice causing further damage.

A Facebook group for the Cape Ray community is now filled with posts speculating over the wreck, with volunteers leaping into action to secure the mystery arrival with ropes until officials arrive. Others are keeping vigil over the site.

Photographs of the wreck on social media have provided some insight into its history, with wooden dowels and copper pegs that were commonly used in the 1800s visible in images. The ship — which measures over 24 metres — is likely larger than a schooner.

This weekend, staff from the Provincial Archaeology Office of Newfoundland and Labrador will be taking measurements, photos, and videos and collecting wood samples for ageing.

The ship was first spotted by local bird hunter Gordon Blackmore, who noticed a shadow under the waves on January 20.

“It’s amazing, there is no other word for it,” Blackmore told CBC. “I’m just curious if they can name the ship, and how old it is and if there were any souls lost on her.”

It’s not the only shipwreck discovered in recent months. In November, the Columbian government confirmed a wrecked Spanish galleon, estimated to be worth as much as $20bn (£16bn), will be brought to the surface as a matter of urgency.

In September, the long-lost shipwreck of the schooner Trinidad was discovered in 270ft of water in Lake Michigan, Wisconsin.

And, in July, British scientists confirmed an urban legend of more than 80 years by ‘finding’ a Royal Navy submarine buried in a town park in Dartmouth, in the county of Devon.

Main image, showing Cape Ray locals securing the wreck with ropes until officials arrive, courtesy of Shawn Bath/Facebook.

One response to “Video: Mysterious shipwreck appears on Newfoundland coast”

  1. Barry Doyle says:

    Hi. I live in ingonish. Cape Breton. In the past year I’ve found an oak plank on the beach here. With wooden dowels. Ingonish is probably 75 miles away from nfld. When I saw the pictures of the wreck and planks on the keel looking like what I found.