At the end of February 2016, archaeologists discovered a large Civil War-era shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina. At the time researchers postulated the vessel was one of three Confederate blockade vessels—either the Agnes E. Fry, the Spunkie, or the Georgianna McCaw—used to defend the port of Wilmington, the last Confederate seaport. According to the Associated Press (AP), the area is well-known for its Civil War-era shipwrecks. The remains of 27 blockade runners have been found in the area.
Now, Wired is reporting that the researchers are 99 percent certain the new wreck, which was found near Oak Island, belongs to the Agnes E. Fry.
Billy Ray Morris, North Carolina’s deputy state archaeologist, told the media outlet that the Agnes E. Fry was the only ship of the three that was over 200 ft. long. The discovered wreck measured 225 ft. long.
“Fry was 236 feet long,” said Morris in a statement. “The other runners…are both considerably shorter and a much earlier design than the Fry. The boiler type, as well as the hull design of the wreck are both indicative of a more modern vessel than either McCaw or Spunkie.”
“Blockade runners were the cigarette boats of their era, moving fast with an unarmed captain and crew using their talents to avoid the Union ships and get their goods to land,” reported the AP.
Next week, according to Wired, divers will return to the wreck sight and use a sonar machine to create a 3D map of the wreckage. After that, the researchers may be able to confirm whether or not the boat is indeed the Agnes E. Fry.
According to the Port City Daily, The Charlotte Fire Department will help the underwater archaeologists by lending them a 3D sonar device.
With the 3D sonar device, Morris told the media outlet that a multi-dimensional map can be made in days.
“The divers will bring the sector scan sonar device down to the ocean bottom and set it up on a tripod to send out sound waves,” according to Wired. “The ones that bounce back will get converted into a visual snapshot of the ocean floor.”
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