the English East Indiamen Paulsgrove

Divers to search for shipwrecks

Dutton rescue

From The Herald

Divers are to launch a mission to find two ships which have lain undisturbed at the bottom of Plymouth Sound for centuries.

University of Plymouth staff and students are to hunt for the remains of the Paulsgrove, which sank in 1637, and the Dutton, which was lost in 1796.

The Dutton's sinking became part of maritime folklore when a passer-by helped save nearly 500 people on board in a dramatic rescue which became the subject of a couple of celebrated paintings.

The English East Indiamen Paulsgrove sunk with its cargo of spices and silks from Indonesia.

The team of seven students and four staff will spend a week from Monday exploring an area off Plymouth Hoe and to the east of Drake's Island in an attempt to locate the remains of two wrecks.

Project leader Martin Read, who lectures in the university's School of Earth, Ocean and Environmental Sciences, said: “Previous work by students from the university using acoustic survey equipment has located several potential targets which might be parts of shipwrecks.

The Dutton was carrying troops to the West Indies and was seeking shelter from a storm in the Cattewater when she hit Mount Batten reef and crashed into Plymouth Hoe.