Hurricane Irma unearths centuries-old canoe

by 16/09/2017 19:32:00 0 comments 1 Views
  • A photographer based in Cocoa, Florida discovered what officials believe to be a centuries-old canoe along the Indian River after Hurricane Irma hit
  • History buff Randy Lathrop was riding his bike along the river earlier this week when he stumbled across the finding in the historic Native American area
  • Lathrop immediately contacted the Florida Division of Historical Resources
  • He said his 'main concern was to secure it from harm's way' and to make sure the canoe was 'preserved and exhibited in the future'

By Jessa Schroeder For Dailymail.com

Published: 19:07 EDT, 16 September 2017 | Updated: 19:32 EDT, 16 September 2017

A canoe believed to be centuries-old has been conserved after it was unearthed along the Indian River in Florida following Hurricane Irma, officials say.

A Cocoa-based photographer was riding his bike along the river earlier this week when he came across the run-down canoe and immediately informed the Florida Division of Historical Resources after, according to ABC News.

'My main concern was to secure it from harm's way,' Randy Lathrop told the news station about the rare discovery.

Lathrop, a history lover, said the craft weighed 'almost 700 pounds, but might as well have weighed 1,000 pounds' as it appeared to have 'been water soaked for years.' 

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Hurricane Irma unearths what officials believe to be a centuries-old canoe along the Indian River north of Cocoa, Florida
Hurricane Irma unearths what officials believe to be a centuries-old canoe along the Indian River north of Cocoa, Florida

Hurricane Irma unearths what officials believe to be a centuries-old canoe along the Indian River north of Cocoa, Florida

Photographer Randy Lathrop was riding his bike along the river earlier this week when he came across the run-down canoe
Photographer Randy Lathrop was riding his bike along the river earlier this week when he came across the run-down canoe

Photographer Randy Lathrop was riding his bike along the river earlier this week when he came across the run-down canoe

'My main concern was to secure it from harm's way,' Randy Lathrop told ABC of the finding
'My main concern was to secure it from harm's way,' Randy Lathrop told ABC of the finding

'My main concern was to secure it from harm's way,' Randy Lathrop told ABC of the finding

'I was able to go half a mile away and get my friend with a truck and we struggled to get into the back of the truck,' he added.

Lathrop shared picture proof of the finding to his Facebook page Monday.

'Look what Irma kicked up out of the bottom of the Indian River, a dugout canoe. Florida State Dept of Historical Resources has been notified, they are sending an archaeologist in the morning,' he wrote.

'It is the law to notify the DHR (a gentle reminder, this belongs to the people of Florida, and hopefully will be preserved and exhibited in the future) Thank you all for your interest! I got to it before it was picked up by the county with all the other storm debris and placed in a landfill.

Lathrop found the canoe washed ashore along the Indian River, in an area known for its Native American history
Lathrop found the canoe washed ashore along the Indian River, in an area known for its Native American history

Lathrop found the canoe washed ashore along the Indian River, in an area known for its Native American history

The Indian River is in close proximity to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida
The Indian River is in close proximity to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida

The Indian River is in close proximity to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida

The area was deemed Florida's 'Space Coast' as it's also near the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
The area was deemed Florida's 'Space Coast' as it's also near the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

The area was deemed Florida's 'Space Coast' as it's also near the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

'I'll certainly keep everyone updated on this progress, promise. Thank you all for sharing and liking!! UPDATE: an archeologist has documented the artifact, it is safe in a water bath, rumor has it may stay in this county for future public view! History saved, for the public. Thank you all!!!'

Spokeswoman for the Florida Division of Historical Resources, Sarah Revell, said radiocarbon dating will determine more specific details about the 15-foot-long boat — which holds distinctive features.

Revell revealed: 'The compartments are a bit out of the ordinary ... The square nails are cut nails. Cut nails were first in production in the early 19th century so that helps to indicate it is a historic canoe.'

The canoe was unearthed in an area acclaimed for its Native American history, and also within Florida's deemed 'Space Coast' for its proximity to the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Large waves produced by Hurricane Irma crash into the end of Anglins Fishing Pier September 10, 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Large waves produced by Hurricane Irma crash into the end of Anglins Fishing Pier September 10, 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Large waves produced by Hurricane Irma crash into the end of Anglins Fishing Pier September 10, 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

A U.S. flag flies over a debris field of former houses following Hurricane Irma in Islamorada, Florida, U.S., September 15, 2017
A U.S. flag flies over a debris field of former houses following Hurricane Irma in Islamorada, Florida, U.S., September 15, 2017

A U.S. flag flies over a debris field of former houses following Hurricane Irma in Islamorada, Florida, U.S., September 15, 2017

A resident of Cudjoe Key surveys the storm surge debris deposited in his backyard after Hurricane Irma struck the Florida Keys in Marathon, Florida, USA, 15 September 2017
A resident of Cudjoe Key surveys the storm surge debris deposited in his backyard after Hurricane Irma struck the Florida Keys in Marathon, Florida, USA, 15 September 2017

A resident of Cudjoe Key surveys the storm surge debris deposited in his backyard after Hurricane Irma struck the Florida Keys in Marathon, Florida, USA, 15 September 2017

'Florida is a treasure trove of unique history and we are excited about the recent discovery of the dugout canoe,' Revell told ABC. 

'As we continue to evaluate and learn more about the canoe, our goal is to ensure it is preserved and protected for future generations in the local community and across Florida to learn from and enjoy.' 

The canoe was assessed Thursday by an archaeologist in Canaveral and is currently being kept wet in an undisclosed safe environment.

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