Friday, November 20, 2020

Mapping the Graveyard of the Atlantic

In May 1718 the pirate Blackbeard ran aground at Topsail Inlet (now known as Beaufort Inlet) on the coast of North Carolina. For nearly 300 years the ship, the Queen Anne'e Revenge, remained undisturbed on the sea bed, until its remains were discovered in 1996.

The location of Blackbeard's ship is just one of many shipwrecks which can be found on the Outer Banks Shipwrecks interactive map. Over 3,000 ships have been estimated to have been wrecked off the coast of the Outer Banks, a 120 mile long collection of barrier islands and spits, situated off the coast of North Carolina and southeastern Virginia.On the interactive map wrecks of identified ships are shown using the ship's name and the year when it was wrecked. Unidentified wrecks are shown on the map with a small blue dot.

Another well known ship shown on the map is the British tanker 'Mirlo'. On August 16 1918, during World War I, the Mirlo was hit by a German torpedo about 5 miles offshore of Rodanthe, North Carolina. Thanks to the heroic efforts of the crew of the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station forty-two people were saved from the burning tanker. 


You can view the locations of shipwrecks on the other side of the Atlantic on the Wreck Viewer interactive map.The Wreck Viewer shows the locations of 4,000 shipwrecks around the shores of Ireland, dating back as far as the 16th century. The map was created by Ireland's National Monuments Service (NMS) to help provide access to and visualize the NMS’s Wreck Inventory.

Each red dot on this map represents a wreck for which there is a known location. 78% of the wrecks in the Wreck Inventory have no known precise location. If you select a wreck on the map you can read the wreck description. This includes details on the ship name, type of vessel and the date the vessel sank. The details also contain (where available) the wreck summary description which provides details on the vessel's history, voyage, cargo, passengers and the story of its loss. At present only 20% of ships in the database have a summary description.

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