Isles of Scilly shipwreck site

Isles of Scilly

By Toby Meyjes - This Is Cornwall

A shipwreck uncovered off the Isles of Scilly last summer could have belonged to Sir Walter Raleigh and been lost when a storm scattered his vessels as they headed for the West Indies.

The wreck, which has been named the Lizzy by the divers who discovered it, is thought to have possibly sunk in 1617 and been one of two ships lost out of a fleet of 30 shortly after they left Plymouth.

The exciting possibility is one of two theories of the wreck's identity put forward by local shipwreck diver Todd Stevens who, along with Robin Burrows and their team, have slowly uncovered the remains since last summer.

If correct, the ship could have been the Flying Joan, one of the fleet on one of the last voyages led by Sir Walter Raleigh before he was executed at the Palace of Westminster in 1618.

Mr Stevens, 50, who also discovered the famous wreck of the HMS Colossus off the Isles of Scilly, labelled the idea of the discovery "amazing".

He is now awaiting a visit from English Heritage to hopefully help further identify the wreck site.

He said: "Since we first found the Lizzy, I have always said that the evidence we have on the seabed leads me to believe it to be the wreck of an armed pinnace.

"This would be a small, single-masted ship without a bowsprit and consequently a gun in the bow instead.

"The ship Sir Walter Raleigh lost here in a storm in 1617 was indeed an armed pinnace. The wreck fits in age and style."

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