The City Council decided that the finder should be the keeper of a 25-foot rare wooden artifact found in the waters off 43rd Street in September.
Chris Mills of Delmar was struck in the leg by what ended up to be at least part of the keel of a wooden merchant ship that dates back to the 1850’s on Sept. 1 and officially was granted ownership of the artifact by the council on Wednesday upon Public Works Director Hal Adkins’ recommendation.
“I’ve contacted several museums about this piece and no one is interested in it. It’s currently sitting in a storage yard in West Ocean City, and Mr. Mills would like to be granted ownership of it, and I recommend that we give it to him,” said Adkins.
The fact that no one wanted it didn’t seem to bother Mills as he emailed Adkins just four days after he and about 25 people on the beach that day wrestled the artifact to shore, asking to be allowed to acquire the piece.
“It took us about an hour and 45 minutes to get this thing ashore, and once I realized how big it was, I refused to let go of it, because if it would have hit someone bodysurfing that day, it would have killed someone,” said Mills.