EDGECOMB COUNTY -- After hundreds of years in a watery grave one of the cannons from Blackbeard's last voyage on the Queen Anne's Revenge has been brought back to the surface. WWAY NewsChannel 3's Dana Brancato spent Monday off the coast of Beaufort aboard the recovery ship and saw a piece of pirate history revealed. "This is the first time this cannon has seen the light of day in almost three hundred years." It's old. It smells of the ocean. And at first glance, it looks more like a big rock than a cannon. But ten years after finding what is very likely a cannon from Blackbeard's ship the Queen Anne's Revenge, it is finally brought back to the surface. But not without some trouble. Field coordinator Wendy Welsh said, "A few challenges today, I mean, the sea is relatively calm, but whenever we started to pick that gun up out of the water, they picked up a little bit." "We had a little bit of trouble setting it down but we got it down relatively smooth." For the 16 Cape Fear Community College marine science students who got to witness the cannon's resurrection, it was history in the making. CFCC student Austin Gray said, "It's a new experience, I guess, one that I've never seen. The memories will last a lifetime." "Pretty amazing, once in a lifetime, I guess," CFCC student Max Flowers said. There's more than one reason to get the cannon off the ocean floor. Project coordinator Mark Wilde-Ramsing said, "This cannon had to be moved because there are other artifacts we need to bring up that are underneath it." Blackbeard's cannon will go to East Carolina University, appropriately enough -- a school whose sports teams are nicknamed the pirates -- where it will be studied, documented and brought as close to its original state as possible. Blackbeard's cannon will be making one stop before it goes to ECU. The cannon will be on display from 11 a.m. until one p.m. Tuesday at the Beaufort facility of the North Carolina Maritime Museum. After that it goes to the lab and likely won't be on display publicly for another five years.
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