A six-masted ship lost more than a century ago off the Outer Banks has reappeared on Ocracoke Island, according to the National Park Service.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore posted video on Oct. 9 showing the wooden bones of the schooner George W. Wells are now exposed on a beach that is typically crawling with tourists in the summer.
"Hurricane Teddy that came by this past week unearthed this shipwreck that you see here, which is pretty fitting. This is the George W. Wells, and it was (sunk) by a hurricane in 1913," a Cape Hatteras park ranger says in the video.
"It has been unearthed several times over the history out here on the Outer Banks. ... It is likely this wreck will be covered again with sand shortly, only to reappear in a few years."
The George W. Wells is one of at least three Outer Banks shipwrecks uncovered when Hurricane Teddy hit the coast with waves that were nearly 18 feet tall in late September.
The Metropolis, wrecked in January 1878, reappeared on a beach in Corolla, the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum reported Oct. 6 in a Facebook post. And a wreck believed to be the G.A. Kohler, sunk in 1933, resurfaced between mile markers 25 and 27, according to an Oct. 10 post on the Shipwrecks of the Outer Banks Facebook group.
The 345-foot-long George W. Wells "was the first six-masted schooner," and it met its demise just 13 years after its maiden voyage, the park service reports. Twenty-four people, including two children, were rescued when it ran aground on Sept. 3, 1913, according to the NorthCarolinaShipwrecksblogspot.com.
"When discovered by life-savers the men and women were clinging to the vessel's rigging," the site quotes the Washington Post as reporting. "The wind was blowing 70 miles an hour, and the rain fell in torrents. After several unsuccessful attempts the life-savers finally succeeded in reaching the schooner and all were taken off."
The Diamond Shoals area of the Outer Banks is known as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic," due to the large number of shipwrecks there, the park service says in the video.
It's believed the first shipwreck was the English ship The Tiger in 1585, and the latest is the Ocean Pursuit, a fishing vessel that ran aground in March and continues to sink into the beach on Bodie Island, the National Park Service reports.
"Over the years, we have failed to figure out exactly how many (shipwrecks) we have. The records just aren't that complete," the park service video reports. "But it depends on your definition of what's the Outer Banks. There may be hundreds, if not thousands of shipwrecks that have occurred here over the years."
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