Researchers from the UNC Coastal Studies Institute returned to Rodanthe to collect additional data pertaining to the shoreline and a shipwreck located within the research area. The Rodanthe project, initiated by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NC DOT), is a collaborative study comprised of UNC CSI geologists, ecologists, and archaeologists who, through the lense of their specialty, are looking at the effects dredging will have on a preexisting emergency ferry channel. The ferry terminal in Rodanthe is due to be dredged again in order to allow the safe passage of ferries who use the terminal in case of emergency situations like the closing of the Bonner Bridge. Before the dredging begins, the DOT wants to know what implications the process will have on the natural and cultural resources in the immediate vicinity.
Researchers deployed an Inspire Pro drone to attain aerial images of the study area. Located hundreds of feet from shore and lying in three feet of water is a shipwreck known as “Pappy’s Lane wreck” due to its close proximity to a street of the same name. The shipwreck, which can be extensively exposed when winds are from the east or almost entirely covered when they blow out of the west, is over one-hundred feet long and heavily crusted with oysters. A red flag marks the stern of the vessel and acts as a warning to windsurfers and kite boarders who find this back bay area perfect for wind-driven recreation. Researchers had hoped to capture enough images of the exposed wreck to create a photogrammetric model, which could be used to better understand the site as well as provide baseline data for monitoring purposes. The wind conditions did not favor the researchers, but water clarity was conducive for aerial imaging revealing the extent of the wreck.
The vessel is yet to be identified by researchers, though its presence in the area goes back over half a century. Historic photographs from the 1980’s show an exceptionally intact vessel with many of its features clearly identifiable above the waterline. In 2010, archaeologists from East Carolina’s graduate program in Maritime Studies and Nautical Archaeology recorded the wreck by taking measurements and mapping the site. A photogrammetric model takes this process a step further and allows researchers to attain accurate measurements from the three-dimensional representation back in the lab.
If any individuals have information pertaining to this shipwreck site please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Nathan Richards, Program Head of Maritime Heritage at the UNC Coastal Studies Institute, via email: [email protected]
To read about the Rodanthe Emergency Ferry Terminal Project in its entirety click MORE INFORMATION.