The program is the work of a team of researchers who have helped to identify several shipwrecks discovered in the area.
Team members have begun inspecting and documenting the findings with the help of college students at Flagler College. They believe the timbers are likely from the Caroline Eddy — an American merchant ship.
“Everything we’ve seen on it so far fits that hypothesis; wooden planking, wood timbers, iron fasteners,” said Chuck Meide, director of the organization, in the release.”They look quite similar to other ships from the 1800s that we have seen.”
Eta’s fourth landfall
Eta then moved into the Gulf of Mexico and made its second Florida landfall on November 12, just south of Cedar Key, roughly a 130-mile drive northwest of Tampa. The storm swept across northern Florida and moved out into the Atlantic Ocean.
In St. Augustine, the storm caused extreme high tides with some coastal flooding and beach erosion at Fort Matanzas National Monument, according to the National Park Service. The erosion lead to the discovery of the shipwreck that researchers think are the remains of the Caroline Eddy.
Over 70% of all known historic shipwrecks lost in Florida are merchant vessels that were moving goods from one port to another along the Atlantic coast, according to the researchers.
“Florida’s maritime past is America’s story as the nation’s oldest port dating back to the Spanish landing in 1565,” said Kathy Fleming, executive director of the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum, in the release.
“The St. Augustine Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program is committed to saving our maritime history and passing these stories on to our future generations.”
CNN’s Madeline Holcombe, Taylor Ward and Steve Almasy contributed to this report.