WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Don't let the azure blue surf foold you, there's a whole different world to be found underneath the Wrightsville waves.
"I actually thought I had hooked into a fish," recalls Kenny Hand. That fish, as it turns out, took him for a ride. "I was standing on my paddleboard, and the fish was pulling me all around, inside the jetty area."
That's when he saw something under the water that stood out.
A dark shade to the water below, beckoned Kenny to get some gear and investigate. Once he did, he found a site to behold.
Kenny called his friend Nick Rasmussen, "I didn't really believe him at first."
He brought SCUBA gear and an HD GoPro camera. The video speaks for itself.
An iron skelton of a ship, suddenly revealed in plain sight. Vibrant tropical fish swim amidst the wreckage, newly exposed with changing currents after being buried by sand for ages.
"We may have never seen it," says Nathan Henry with the North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Branch.
Seeing it is one thing, but identifying the wreck is a tougher task. Magnetic maps have shown wrecks like this one for years, but now that the sand has come off there's an opportunity to learn more.
Henry says their best estimation is that this is part of what's left of the Fanny and Jenny; a blockade runner trying to bring supplies to Wilmington that was chased ashore in February of 1864 by the USS Florida. Once is was beached, it was a free for all.
"It was just a crazy scene on board the vessel," says Heny. "They were just grabbing anything they could."
In the bleak Civil War, supplies like these were a godsend to the Rebels, even if the ship was wrecked in the process.
Today, the wreck is history that can be seen. At least until the sand again makes this treasure hidden.