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Mother, son find ancient shipwreck on beach

Posted at 7:19 AM, Mar 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-30 07:19:37-04

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL (WJXT/CNN) - Beach-goers in Florida didn't need metal detectors to find treasure Thursday.

Julia Turner and her son Patrick Turner were walking along the beach when they discovered a 47-feet-long shipwreck.

“We were going to look for conch shells and shark teeth and we found a shipwreck,” Turner said. “So that’s pretty special.”

The large wooden piece washed up days after a rough surf.

St. Augustine Lighthouse Director of Maritime Research Chuck Meide said the discovery is likely a merchant ship which could date back centuries.

“It would have been a pretty sizable ship,” said Meide who believes the ship is from the 1800s.

Meide brought a team of researchers to learn more about the wreckage which was so well preserved, there are visible Roman numeral markings.

Marc Anthony who owns a treasure shop in town was amazed at the finding.

“I’m just blown away by the rarity of what was sitting on our beaches today,” Anthony said.  

Researchers spent the day documenting the hull in case it washed back out to sea.

They hope to use photos of the ship to create a 3D model.

“We just don’t want anybody jumping up and down on it or playing on it, said Nathan Datsko, a deputy with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office who guarded the relic.

The wreck cannot be removed unless authorized by the state.

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