Shipwreck dive scheduled to get underway

An anchor like this one resting on the ocean bottom may be raised during a spring dive expedition set to begin next week at the Queen Anne's Revenge shipwreck site located off of Carteret County in Beaufort Inlet

By Jannette Pippin - EncToday

As moviegoers catch a glimpse of Blackbeard in the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, state underwater archaeologists will be on a real pirate adventure as they dive on the shipwreck presumed to be the Queen Anne’s Revenge.

The wreck of the flagship of the infamous pirate rests approximately 20 feet below water in Beaufort Inlet where it ran aground nearly 300 years ago.

A spring dive expedition is set to begin next week to complete a number of projects on site in anticipation of the final stages of work to recover the remaining artifacts.

“Our plan is still to recover all of the artifacts by 2013, and this short expedition is to prepare the site for that,” QAR Project Director Mark Wilde-Ramsing said.

Among the objectives is to recover either one of the cannons or an anchor from a large artifact pile located toward the central area of the wreck site.

“There’s the potential that we will be bringing up another large artifact,” Wilde-Ramsing said. “We’re considering different scenarios, but we want to look at recovering one of the artifacts from the top of the pile. It could be another cannon, but more likely it will be one of the anchors.”

Wilde-Ramsing said recovering the anchor would allow them greater access to the pile of artifacts and give them a better idea of what they need to do next to conserve the artifacts.

“This will allow us to look down into this pile and that’s something we’ve been eyeing to do for a long time,” he said.

The QAR Project Team and N.C. Department of Cultural Resources are holding a news conference Wednesday in Wilmington to give a preview of the spring recovery expedition.

The QAR team is partnering on the spring dive with the University of North Carolina Wilmington Center for Marine Science, as well as Cape Fear Community College.

Blackbeard Beaufort Queen Anne Revenge North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources Cape Fear Pirates of the Caribbean