A mysterious shipwreck has washed up on Canada’s coastline centuries after it is thought to have sunk.
The ghostly vessel appeared on the shores of Cape Ray on the Newfoundland coast and is thought to have been dredged up by post-tropical storm Fiona.
The 80ft ship was spotted by local bird hunter Gordon Blackmore, who first noticed a large shadow looming under the waves on January 20.
“It’s amazing, there is no other word for it,” Blackmore, 21, told CBC. “I’m just curious if they can name the ship, and how old it is and if there were any souls lost on her.”
The boat is thought to date to the 19th century due to the use of wooden dowels throughout the structure. Its length would also suggest it may have been bigger than a schooner, however not much else is known about its origin.
“This is a great, great event,” Neil Burgess, president of the Shipwreck Preservation Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, told the Guardian.
“If it’s oak or beech or a hardwood species like that, it will tell us it wasn’t made here in Newfoundland and was probably made over in Europe somewhere,” he told UPI.
“There are databases of shipwrecks we can search for what was recorded as being lost around Cape Ray.”
Shipwreck in Canada freed by the tropical storm
He suspects the vessel was freed by a combination of coastal erosion and the tropical storm that lashed the area, damaging more than 100 homes.
A local government team has now been dispatched to assess and preserve the wreck.
But they are working against the clock, as the international attention the ship garnered has already resulted in artifacts being removed from the wreck.
There are also fears the ship could succumb to sea ice or be pulled back out into the depths during strong winds.
Speculation is running rampant among locals who are desperate to learn about its history. The Cape Ray community page has become a forum for the exchange of suggestions and maritime knowledge from across the globe.
Resident Bert Osmond has taken it upon himself to mount a daily vigil over the wreck, according to the page.
Pictures show how he and others recently tied a rope around the ship to stop it floating away.
“This story has gone worldwide and hopefully we can secure the wreck so the officials can document it,” Anne Osmond wrote on the page.