600-ton Vessel

Jacobean 'Titanic' discovered by archaeologists

By Graham Tibbetts

Marine archaeologists who explored the 600-ton vessel off Dorset believe it may have been as luxurious in its day as the Titanic.

Among the treasures they have retrieved is a statue of a merman whose eye sockets would have held precious stones.

The 4.5ft wooden figure was one of a number of statues that would have adorned the stern of the vessel.

At 130ft long, the oak-timbered ship would have been one of the largest of its kind on the seas when it sank in around 1620.

Its identity is not known but it is likely to be British or Dutch.

The wreck was found half a mile from the Sandbanks peninsula during recent dredging work of Poole harbour.

Marine archaeologists have carried out a series of dives on the vessel, which lies in 23ft of water.