Historic City News was informed that a team from the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program was working on December 5-6 at the scene of a shipwreck recently discovered in Daytona Beach Shores. The wreckage began appearing after Hurricanes Ian and Nicole, but it has been partially buried on and off due to the tides.
The St Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is working with the Florida Department of State, Bureau of Archaeological Research, and Florida Public Archaeology Network by measuring and studying what parts of the ship are protruding above the sand. The wreck is near Frank Rendon Park, 2705 South Atlantic Avenue, in Daytona Beach.
“The shipwreck is most likely a cargo-carrying sailing vessel from the 1800s. It would have likely sailed within sight of the coast and used lighthouses for navigation, though it was probably big enough to cross the Atlantic as well,” St Augustine Lighthouse Archaeologist Chuck Meide explained. “It was re-buried by the time we got to it, so we didn’t see it at full exposure. We are not sure of its overall size, but reports of witnesses said the wreckage was between 80 to 100 feet long.”
The Florida Department of State thanked the Florida Public Archaeology Network and Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program for their rapid response to this recently exposed wreck. Here in Florida, we often have storms that reveal cultural material either offshore or right on the beach. Secretary of State Cord Byrd said the public should contact the Bureau of Archaeological Research when artifacts or sites are exposed on the beach.
“Please take only pictures and leave only footprints to preserve the integrity of archaeological sites for future generations of Floridians,” Byrd said.
The St Augustine Light Station is host to centuries of history and educational programs. For over 148 years, the Lighthouse & Maritime Museum has been a unique landmark of St Augustine. They are the parent organization of the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program. Together, the two non-profits are an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. The St Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum has achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest recognition afforded to the nation’s museums.