Hatteras Village Shipwreck

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In the days before sophisticated electronic navigational devices such as the global positioning system (GPS), the loss of wooden ships to the "Graveyard of the Atlantic" was not uncommon. The vessel would be cast upon the shore and with time would become covered with sand. Some would be buried by the shifting sand until the right storm came along to uncover what time had forgotten. Such is the case of a recently exposed shipwreck near Hatteras Village.

According to Wendy Coble, an underwater archaeologist with the Underwater Archaeology Branch of the Naval Historical Center in Washington, D.C., "The wreckage was 164' long from end to end.  Because the bow and stern are missing it is impossible to tell which was which.  The end closest to the beach access has frames that are narrower with a sharper chine indicating one their proximity to one end or the other.  I think 3/4 of the length at least, is still visible. We suspect that the ship was originally over 175' long."

In speculating on the age of the wreck, Ms. Coble said, "Based on the fact that so many iron bolts are visible, we suspect the wreckage is late 19th or early 20th century.  As wood supplies decreased and compass timber availability decreased more ships were built with smaller pieces which had to be bolted together."

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Ray Midgett