Storm Babet sees shipwreck wash up on Marske beach

Part of the hull of a wooden shipwreck washed up on Marske Beach during Storm Babet. Credit: Gazette Media Syndication

Part of the hull of a wooden shipwreck washed up on a Teesside beach during Storm Babet.

The structure was discovered in Marske following the storm, prompting speculation it could be from Whitby whaler The Esk, which sank in 1826.

Historic England has confirmed the fragment is from a shipwreck but it does not know which vessel the hull is from.

Research will take place to try and discover its origins.

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According to Historic England, there are at least 23 historic wooden wrecks in the area that could be linked to the find and there could be more unreported wrecks from before the mid-18th century.

A Historic England spokesperson said: “Following the recent storms, part of the hull of a wooden shipwreck has appeared on the beach near Marske-on-Sea.

"This is a region noted both for its tradition of maritime industry and seafaring, but also the dangers of such work in the age of sail.

Historic England is carrying out research to try and discover more about the origins of the shipwreck washed up on Marske beach. Credit: Gazette Media Syndication

"Through historic research, recording the modes of construction, and using the latest scientific dating Historic England hopes to reveal more information about the ship this fragment came from, including when it was built and possibly linking this to a known historic shipwreck event.”

The team will use dendrochronology, or tree-ring dating, to understand the felling date for the timbers used in this ship’s construction, which it hopes will help narrow the list of possible candidates.

What do we know about The Esk?

The Esk was returning to Whitby from Greenland and was laden with that season's cargo of whale oil and blubber when she was stranded on the High, to the south of Redcar in strong winds.

The Redcar lifeboat was reported to have made several unsuccessful attempts to reach the wreck and rescue the crew.

According to reports at the time, The Esk finally broke up in "the grey light of dawn" and the crew "pitched into the sea".

Reports differ as to how many crew were on board, with some suggesting there may have been 23 or 24 casualties and only two or three survivors.

It was reported 80 casks of oil and blubber were washed on shore.

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