Another shipwreck? Beach erosion reveals debris in Daytona Beach Shores

Archaeologists to return to Volusia County for second shipwreck investigation

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla. – Volusia County Beach Officials believe another shipwreck may have just been uncovered in the Shores. If it is, it would be the second one uncovered since last year’s hurricanes.

It’s just north of the El Portal Street beach access ramp, an area where the beach was severely eroded in the hurricanes last fall and then even more with a strong storm surge last week.

Officials said they always knew there was some sort of debris field in that area. They said they even had signs posted about 15 to 20 years ago warning beachgoers in case something popped up but they washed away years ago. Now, they said, this is the first time they’d ever seen something like this resurface, leading them to believe it’s another shipwreck.

“We come out here every day and there’s been a lot of high tides,” said beachgoer Shaun Purdue.

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Purdue was one of the first to alert officials when it popped up. He said he saw it on his daily walk down the beach when the tide finally went even further down on Wednesday.

“It’s definitely the structure of a ship hull — the bottom and it looks really old,” he said.


Beautiful day to see a possible shipwreck!

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Beach Patrol officials said it’s another sign of just how eroded the beaches are in Volusia right now.

“It’s kind of cool to see these blasts from the past but unfortunately it’s due to the loss of sand,” said Captain AJ Miller.

Miller said they have contacted a state archaeologist team to come out and survey it.

It’s the second time they’ve had to do so.

Back in December, right after Hurricane Nicole, those archaeologists said the erosion revealed a wreck a few miles more north of Daytona Beach Shores. They determined it was an intact hull of a ship, about 100 feet in length, and likely a trading vessel from the 1800′s.

Officials said this latest one looks somewhat similar.

“Definitely resembles an old shipwreck. About 25-30 feet long,” said Miller.

He said they’ll be posting new signs near this one, warning curious onlookers and swimmers to keep a safe distance from it.

“By all means come out and check it out. It’s really cool to see Florida history but please don’t go in it. We don’t know if there’s any metal involved. It is a hazardous area,” he said.

Miller said the archaeologist team is expected to be on-site Monday to take a closer look.

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Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.