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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.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest28449

    You guys did this same story on Aug.29th and almost word for word except for the possible name of the find in which everyone from here already knew and was in the comments. There is one between Carolina and Kure Beach that gets uncovered all the time.

  • Wilmington Observer

    This wreck has been visible for years. If I had known that it would garner this much attention I would have told someone about it. On a day, when the water is clear, it can be seen so easily that I assumed it had already been “discovered”. If you feel like finding even more treasures, turn toward the jetty and swim along the bottom, to the end. There you will find refrigerators, microwaves, car axles, car bumpers and and yards upon yards of junked, electrical wiring. It is really sad to see all of the sea life that calls the jetty “home” and in the background see all of the junk and trash that people throw there because they don’t want to go to the landfill.

    Wilmington Observer

  • capt chuck-Southport

    Journalism or junk: be on the positive side and encourage reporting coastal submersions. I have struck many objects under my four foot draft but made time to enter the obstruction on my charts. The smallest find may produce a historical piece to the never ending puzzle to our past.

  • Jettyholic

    How the heck can you surf a break for 10 years and not notice there’s a shipwreck under the main peak? Last year you could see the deck planking, one of the ribs used to poke out of the face of the wave at low tide, its hardly a new discovery or newly uncovered. Its been visible 365 days a year since it ran aground. What a donkey!

  • treasurehunter2

    Hey guys, Give them a break. Its cool to find something and run with the excitement, the mystery of what is it. So some people already know about it, so there might be a dive card on it, its all about the first time you find a clue, the first time you get to see the puzzle, the first time you have a story to tell… don’t steal the thunder, just share the facts (keep history alive).

    keep exploring!


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