Tags: Gabrielle | Uncovers | 19th-century | Shipwreck

Gabrielle Uncovers 19th-century Shipwreck

Friday, 21 September 2001 12:00 AM

Seventy-seven jagged wooden hull ribs are sticking up out of the sandy beach, exposed by the heavy waves and surf stirred up by the tropical storm.

Archaeologist John W. Morris III of the St. Augustine Lighthouse Museum said he suspected it was an American coastal schooner.

Measuring of the wreck was expected to wind up today. It is thought to be a ship of at least 125 to 140 feet long when it was built.

Next, archaeologists will use the measurements, samples of the worm-eaten wood and maritime records to determine the ship's name and when it wrecked.

The wreck was expected to be visible for a few weeks until waves push the sand over it again.

The St. Johns County Sheriffs Office will watch it to protect it from vandals or thieves but Morris urged people to make the effort to take a look.

"All of this belongs to the state of Florida and cannot be disturbed, but while it is exposed, I encourage people to look at it. It is a priceless piece of maritime heritage," Morris said.

The schooner has become part of a $35,000 study funded last spring by the Florida Historic Preservation Board.

Gabrielle came ashore last Friday in Sarasota County on Florida's west cost and moved across the state, moving out over the Atlantic at Daytona Beach, Fla., on the east coast Saturday. It had diminished, but during the period it was over Florida, it dropped as much as 12 inches of rain and raked the peninsula and its environs with gusty winds.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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Seventy-seven jagged wooden hull ribs are sticking up out of the sandy beach, exposed by the heavy waves and surf stirred up by the tropical storm. Archaeologist John W. Morris III of the St. Augustine Lighthouse Museum said he suspected it was an American coastal...
Gabrielle,Uncovers,19th-century,Shipwreck
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2001-00-21
Friday, 21 September 2001 12:00 AM
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