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Elena

A shipwreck

8 posts in this topic

Yes, I have another question... that my English vocabulary (neither technical knowledges in general) doesn't help enough to formulate it.

We are in the early 1700s... and a damaged ship has sunk in the harbour. It happens sometimes... (especially if somebody "helped" it ;) ) Now, what technology do the authorities have in order to drag the shipwreck out, because half of the harbour would be blocked otherwise?

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to get started you should GOOGLE "ship wreckers" wikipeda has a good site with the basic info.

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Yes, but is the information from the 18-th century? What google gave me was modern methods. (But yes, I googled shipwrecks, not shipwreckers), so I will do this too.

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I know they dove on wrecked ships to retrieve the stuff worth retrieving. Pirates were known to prey upon the Spanish in the late 17th c. when they were rescuing the gold from sunken treasure fleet ships.

But I imagine you're talking about something that wrecked near shore? If so, I would guess it would be done in the same way as careening if it was possible to retrieve the ship. (Although careeening was primarily done by hand after unladening the ship to make it as easy as possible for the men to move it. Plus they didn't have to fight against the weight of the water inside the ship the way one would have to with a wrecked ship.)

The image below is a 19th c. view of careening. I have hotlinked the image to the wiki commons page where you can see it in great detail.

Lebreton_engraving-07.jpg

They might also use horses and such. This is another 19th c. image called Figures dismantling a beached ship on a rocky shore by Auguste Delacroix:

painting1.jpg

They probably can't re-float it very easily, so I'd guess if they couldn't haul it out, they'd just destroy as much of it as they needed to get it out of the way.

How would you do it knowing the sorts of things they had available to them? Maybe use blocks and tackles to increase their hauling power? Try to drag it with other, floating ships? It wouldn't be a usual problem - a couple of attempted searches of the Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies didn't turn up any matches. So I would expect that since the problem was atypical, the solution would be likewise.

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there is a brief thread in capt. twill from aug.30,2013 titled "period salavge techniques". also GOOGLE "a brief history of diving by alex brylske".

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Thank you very much! You all helped me!

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The 1733 Fleet that I have worked in the past several years was originally worked by the Spanish when the ships sunk during the hurricane. Their method was to burn the ship to the waterline then use grapnels to further tear the ship apart provided it could not be refloated. Once this was done they would pick the treasure from what remained of the wreck.

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Commodore Swab, I guess this helps a lot more with the access to port problem ;)

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