Polish coast

Mystery of Whitby shipwreck at bottom of the Baltic

General Carleton's bell

By Jon Stokoe

For many people in and around Whitby, the name General Carleton will mean nothing but for a number of families it will bring back painful memories of one of the town's most tragic seafaring disasters.

The General Carleton was a 400-ton merchant ship which was built in Whitby but sank to the bottom of the south Baltic Sea in 1785 with its crew during a storm off the Polish coast near the mouth of the River Piasnica.

Now, thanks to an exhibition at the Polish Maritime Museum in Gdansk, as well as the release of a fascinating book (you can order a copy by clicking on a link at the bottom of this story which takes you directly to the Polish Maritime Museum's online store), the memory of the brave sailors will live on after the wreck was excavated with some startling finds.

The leader of the excavation project, Dr Waldemar Ossowski of the maritime museum, led his team to years of fascinating discoveries from the bed of the Baltic.


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