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The Lutzen: 1939 Shipwreck Emerges From Shifting Sands

Image: The Lutzen: 1939 Shipwreck Emerges From Shifting Sands

The Lutzen was carrying frozen blueberries when it ran aground in 1939. (Orleans Historical Society)

By    |   Wednesday, 05 Oct 2016 08:39 AM

The Lutzen, a 1939 shipwreck off the Massachusetts coast, has started to emerge from the shifting sands on the ocean floor about 400 feet offshore, according to a marine surveyor.

The British freighter ran aground near Orleans while carrying 230 tons of frozen blueberries, reported the Cape Cod Times. Marine surveyor John Perry Fish told the the Times the ship was found in about 20 feet of water with its bow and stern now visible in the sand.

The shipwreck is one of 3,500 recorded along the Massachusetts coast, said Victor Mastone, director of the state's Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources.

"Sometimes, I wait for storms and bad weather to uncover things, because that's usually when something new shows up," Mastone told the Boston Globe. "It's an interesting wreck. Even if you can't visit it, if we can pluck enough data, then we can create a virtual visit."

The Globe said the ship was traveling from Canada to New York when the captain misjudged the location of the shoreline and was pushed aground on Feb. 3, 1939.

Mastone told the Globe that workers on the vessel were able to unload 200 tons of blueberries while trying to reduce the weight of the ship, but it became unbalanced and tipped. He said the crew gave up on saving the ship once it flipped to its side.

"The 155-foot freighter sat on the beach for a few days while some attempts were made to pull her off, but a northeast storm tossed her high and dry on the sands, so some local laborers were hired at 75 cents an hour to unload the cargo of blueberries from the ship," shipwreck historian William Quinn wrote in his 1973 book "Shipwrecks Around Cape Cod," said the Times. (Quinn died in 2014.)

The Daily Mail said the Lutzen was first built as a warship, part of a fleet of six trawlers by the Canadian Car and Foundry Company for the French navy to serve as minesweepers in the English Channel during World War I. The ship was converted for private shipping use after the war.

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The Lutzen, a 1939 shipwreck off the Massachusetts coast, has started to emerge from the shifting sands on the ocean floor about 400 feet offshore, according to a marine surveyor.
lutzen, 1939, shipwreck, emerges
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2016-39-05
Wednesday, 05 Oct 2016 08:39 AM
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