Winter Storm Riley Uncovers 250-Year-Old Maine Shipwreck

Pam Wright
Published: March 7, 2018

Winter Storm Riley uncovered the skeleton of a nearly 250-year-old ship on a beach near York, Maine.
(York Maine Police Department)

Powerful storm surge and massive waves from Winter Storm Riley last week uncovered the skeleton remains of a ship buried deep in the sand of a southern Maine beach.

The ship is believed to have sunk some 250 years ago around the time of the Revolutionary War, according to a Facebook post by the York Maine Police Department,

This is not the first time the sloop has appeared on Short Sands Beach in York. It also emerged from the sand in 2013 when Winter Storm Nemo struck the East Coast, reports Sea Coast Online. Before that, the shipwreck piqued the interest of residents in the aftermath of the Patriots Day nor'easter in 2007 and before that, in 1958. In fact, the shipwreck seems to make an appearance with most, if not all, nor'easters that hit the Maine coast with powerful waves. 

The York Police Department noted Mondaythat "every once in a while after a storm, the ocean moves enough sand for it to be seen."

Historical archaeologist Leith Smith with the Maine Historic Preservation Commission told ABC News that the 60-foot ship was most likely built during the 18th century and wrecked around 1769.

Smith said after a nor'easter, it typically takes a few weeks to a few months for the wreck to be reburied in the sand.


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