6 picturesque shipwreck cemeteriesBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/6-picturesque-shipwreck-cemeteries.html
The bottom of the world ocean is literally strewn with sunken ships. According to the UN, there are about 3 million of them. These are antique galleys full of amphorae, and the ships of the first merchant navigators filled with foreign goods, and pirate ships with looted treasures, and Spanish galleons transporting gold from the New to The Old World, and the ships of explorers and discoverers, and many warships. They sank at different times under different circumstances.
We will tell you about the largest ship cemeteries, which have the fame of "ship eaters": it's as if they are deliberately luring and destroying passing ships along with their passengers and cargo.
Cape Hatteras in North Carolina is considered the most dangerous place for ships off the coast of the United States. Here the cold Labrador current and the warm Gulf Stream collide. Stormy winds, strong changeable currents and navigation difficulties have led to a large number of shipwrecks and countless human casualties in the vicinity of the cape — in particular, on the Diamond shoals.
More than 1,000 ships have found their last refuge here since 1526. The cemetery of the Atlantic was dubbed by the first US Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, who also insisted on the construction of a lighthouse on the cape, which was erected in 1803 and still helps sailors avoid danger.
The most famous ship that sank here is the first battleship of the US Navy "Monitor", which was lost in 1862. The shipwreck site is considered a national historical monument.
Sable in English means "mourning", "gloomy". It is this characteristic that is suitable for this small crescent-shaped island. About 350 shipwrecks were registered near it. According to lighthouse keeper David Johnson, an average of three ships perished here every two years. Observations have been conducted since 1800, but the fame of the devourer came to Sable earlier.
Just like Cape Hatteras, the Canadian island is called the cemetery of the Atlantic, but it has a significant difference: it can literally devour ships, enveloping them with quicksand. A stranded ship Sable "swallows" entirely in two or three months, even if it is a huge steamer with a displacement of 5,000 tons and a length of up to 120 m. After some time, the island can again "spit out" the ship to the surface — this is the paradox of this area.
The malicious nature of the Sable is quite understandable. There are warm and cold currents near its shores, and it is constantly hidden behind dense fogs and is able to change color due to the sandy rocks of the shores, adjusting to the color of the ocean water. In addition, it constantly changes location: over the past 200 years, Sable has moved almost 10 nautical miles, annually it shifts by 230 m. These properties allowed him to "deceive" hundreds of captains and sailors.
The most tragic shipwreck off the coast of Sable occurred in 1898: in the fog, the French passenger liner La Bourgogne collided with the barque Cromartyshire and soon sank, taking the lives of 561 people, including the captain, who did not want to leave the ship. Out of 200 women and 80 children, only one Victoria Lacasse escaped.
Austrian sailors and men who joined them, seized with panic, shot at other passengers, took boats with a fight, beat people with oars and cut the fingers of those who tried to get out of the water. Later, the Austrians were executed, and the crash was named St. Bartholomew's Morning.
In the English Channel, near the British city of Dover, there is the infamous Goodwin Shoal, which has destroyed more than 2,000 ships. According to one version, the shoal was formed due to the erosion of Lomea Island. Under the influence of tides, the sands change their shape and location, so a meeting with a shoal is always unexpected for sailors. Often sailing ships got into the sand trap, which were brought here in a storm and fog, the surf gradually washed the sand out from under them, breaking in half.
If the ship capsized and flooded with water, people often died immediately. It is estimated that 50,000 people are missing in the Goodwin Shoals area. Some locals have been feeding off shipwrecks for centuries: they were engaged in rescuing stranded ships for a reward or simply engaged in robbery.
The English fleet lost its best ships here. One of them, the 70—gun battleship Stirling Castle, crashed in 1703, was discovered by local divers at a depth of 12 m in 1979. The raised artifacts are kept at the Ramsgate Maritime Museum. The ship itself has since been sandbagged, then thrown to the surface again, its remains are protected by Britain, and the wreck site is a national monument.
According to archaeologists, 26,703 ships sank in the Baltic Sea from 1128 to 1947. More than 10,000 of them are located off the Russian coast, of which about 2,500 rest in the Gulf of Finland. Researchers attribute a quarter of the ships lost in the Baltic to the Russian fleet, 19% — German, 17% — English, 8% — Dutch, 7% — Finnish. Most of the wreckage was recorded in Vyborg Bay: these are mainly ships that died during a major battle between the fleets of Russia and Sweden in July 1790.
Ships in the Baltic sank for various reasons, and not only during military operations, but also because of storms, collisions and landings. Russian scientists have explored the seabed and compiled an atlas of the sunken ships of the Baltic, but they are in no hurry to raise ships to the surface, believing that the Baltic Sea is in itself the best keeper of Russia's underwater heritage. Due to low temperatures, the absence of animals, oxygen and light, even wooden fragments are perfectly preserved in deep mud.
One of the most interesting secrets of the Baltic Sea is the Dutch ship Frau Maria, which was wrecked in 1771 off the Aland Islands. His cargo was works of art acquired by Catherine II for the Hermitage and Tsarskoye Selo. The ship was discovered by a Finnish diver in 1999 at a depth of 41 m, but still remains at the bottom.
In its hold, according to archaeologists, there is a collection of Saxon porcelain, gold and silver figurines, as well as about 300 paintings by Flemish artists, including works by Rembrandt. However, the lifting operation is estimated at € 80 million, while interested parties express doubts that the cargo, which has lain on the seabed for about 250 years, is still of historical and cultural value.
Since the Europeans learned about the distant lands of America and were convinced of its riches, the era of the gold rush began. Total from 1503 to 1650 to Spain from 181,133 kg of gold and 16,886,815 kg of silver were exported from the New World. Spanish galleons loaded with South American treasures followed through the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic towards Europe, but not all reached their native shores.
Inexperience of sailors, an undeveloped navigation system and inaccurate maps, as well as insidious West Indian hurricanes led to frequent shipwrecks. And the ships themselves were bulky and clumsy, besides they were often helped to sink by pirates. According to experts, 850 ships were lost at sea between 1500 and 1820, 340 of them were never found and investigated by Spanish rescuers.
According to other sources, 673 ships sank in the period from 1619 to 1659 alone. Many still rest in the Greater Antilles area — it is believed that at least 400 sailboats are buried in this Caribbean "cemetery".
One of the most famous ships lost here is the Spanish galleon The Virgin, which sank in 1641 off the coast of Haiti. The huge ship was supposed to transport all the colonial silver mined during the year, but on the last voyage it was prevented by a storm and a pilot error. The treasure hunt began immediately, and already in 1687 Sir William Phips was able to lift 30 tons of silver from the bottom. However, the sailor took the secret of the wreckage to the grave, and the next time they talked about the ship three centuries later.
In 1977, the fragments of the ship were found by the American treasure hunter Bert Webber, who lifted 32 tons of silver in bars and coins, gold jewelry and antique porcelain dishes worth $ 14 million from the seabed. According to experts, more than half of the cargo of the "Most Pure Virgin" has not yet been found.
According to the Department of Environmental Protection and Cultural Heritage of Australia, hundreds of historic ships that have become victims of shipwrecks rest off the coast of Queensland.
The first Australian colonists and explorers often suffered shipwrecks, trying to use the waters between the reef and the mainland of the Big Lagoon to travel to the ports of India and China, as well as as a shortcut from Pacific Ocean to Indian.
The most famous ship that sank off the Great Barrier Reef is the 24—gun Royal Navy ship Pandora. He was sent to search for the mutinous Bounty team, from which 14 people were found and arrested. In August 1791, the Pandora landed on the outer edge of the reef and sank the next morning along with 31 crew members and four prisoners.
The remains of the ship were discovered in 1977 by documentary filmmaker and researcher Ben Kropp. Excavations are still ongoing, the raised artifacts are on display at the Queensland Museum.
By the way, this year Kropp discovered the brig L'inconstant near the Big Reef, on which Napoleon escaped from the island of Elba in 1815. Subsequently, the ship went to the British, was renamed and sank in 1831.