Unearthed shipwreck buried again
- On 27/02/2009
- In Parks & Protected Sites
From Otago Daily News
A sailing ship wreck possibly more than 200 years-old has been buried again under the sand of a Northland beach after it was exposed by wave action.
It was found several weeks ago under about four metres of water on the beach north of the Kaipara Harbour entrance on the west coast, an area well known for shipwrecks.
Maritime historian Noel Hilliam from the Dargaville Museum, said wave action had scoured away thousands of tonnes of sand to a depth of more than four metres.
That had exposed the blunt bow of the ship at low tide but leaving the rest of the wreck still buried in the sand. The blunt bow design meant the ship was probably in service in the late 1700 or early 1800s, he said.
That was only a few decades after Captain James Cook's first voyage of discovery to New Zealand in 1769 on HMS Endeavour. The ship probably came to grief when it was unable to sail against the prevailing wind and currents and was washed onto the beach.
"They couldn't point up to the wind and sail off. They couldn't anchor out there and they wound up on the beach."