The remains of a shipwreck discovered on a beach in Nantucket, Massachusetts, on 9 February have been identified as a schooner that had been wrecked in 1884 in the area, per local media. Footage captured by Jesse Ahern reflects a significant section of the wreck on Miacomet Beach.
Per the Nantucket Current, the wreckage was later identified as the Warren Sawyer’s stern, a three-masted schooner reportedly lost on the night of 22 December 1884 after gale-force winds blew it off its course.
Ahern informed Storyful that when she initially spotted the wreck, she almost instantaneously thought that it might belong to the 19th-century vessel, smaller parts of which were discovered weeks earlier.
Ahern explained that the schooner wrecked on the beach in Miacomet in December 1884 and was discovered in December. She added that it did not look like the photographs seen from the first wreck.
Ahern’s intuition proved right, and the remains were identified as another, greater, piece of Warren Sawyer.
The Warren Sawyer was sailing between Boston and New Orleans when it was blown off course by powerful winds on 22 December 1884.
The vessel, loaded with scrap iron and cotton cargo, was destroyed in the storm, but the crew members escaped and could make it to the shore, the Nantucket Current recounts.
Herman Melville based Moby Dick on the whaling industry of Nantucket, which was dominant in the 19th century.
The reason that shipwrecks similar to the Warren Sawyer reappear suddenly on nearby beaches includes shifts to the sedimentary environment.
Alterations to the post-depositional environment (sediment movement from storm surges, shifting sands, local dredging, or other changes) can uncover wrecks and timbers and are exposed once again on the shallow water, seabed, or sometimes, are washed up on beaches, per, Farr.
This can happen in the aftermath of powerful storms that whip up ocean waters and the seabed. Even if the vessel has not been recognized the Warren Sawyer, specialists can use pieces of a wreck
that washed up to uncover more information on the vessel’s history.
References: Newsweek, Daily Mail