Shipwrecks

Divers map 'mysterious' wrecks off Chesil Beach

Nautical Archaeology Society photogrammetry to uncover secrets of wreck sites.
A dive team is hoping to uncover some secrets of shipwrecks just off Dorset's Chesil Beach.

The identity of two wrecks, although they've been the focus of investigations for over 10 years, remain a mystery.

Dives by the Nautical Archaeology Society and Maritime Archaeology Trust have been disrupted by the weather, this week, but photogrammetry surveys of the wreck sites have been made and 12 divers have been trained-up to help on future dives.

BBC Radio Solent's Steve Harris spoke to Peta Knott, the Education Officer at the Nautical Archaeology Society.
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Diving to start on two unidentified shipwrecks off Dorset coast

Wreck sites with several cannons lie close to shore off Chesil Beach.
Two unidentified protected shipwrecks off Chesil Beach have left historian scratching their heads for the last decade. The sites  are believed to date back to 1650-1733. 

A team of Dorset divers is taking part in a project led by the Nautical Archaeology Society, commissioned by Historic England and supported by the Maritime Archaeology Trust.

A set of cannons lie tight inshore together with a stack of cannonballs, with a further site located a few hundred yards further out. 
To date, despite site assessments their provenance remains unproven. A 2017 Historic England report says the identity is likely to be a significantly large 18th or 19th century ship judging by the size of the guns.

Volunteer diver Nick Reed from Swanage likened it to: "a bit like having all the pieces of a jigsaw without the box". 

One possible candidate for the shipwreck identity is De Hoop or Hope, a 1749 wreck of a Dutch West Indiaman which stranded at Chesil Cove en route from Jamaica and/or America to Amsterdam, laden with gold and silver coin, linen, woollen goods and tobacco. 

Photogrammetry equipment will be used to produce 3D modelling of the latest exploration.
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