KURE BEACH, NC (WECT) - Researchers suspect Civil War-era wreckage discovered in February off the coast of Oak Island is that of the blockade runner Agnes E. Fry, one of three shipwrecks believed to be in the area.
According to a news release from the N.C. Office of State Archaeology, the location and size of the vessel indicate that it is the Agnes E. Fry. A more decisive determination may be made when more sophisticated 3D sonar imaging becomes available from the Charlotte Fire Department.
Analysis of the initial sonar images generated Feb. 27 showed a 225-foot vessel with both engines and the paddlewheel shaft missing, which is consistent with the underwater site inspection that took place March 22.
"Fry was 236 feet long, and the vessel remains we have are 225 feet in length. The other runners, Georgianna McCaw and Spunkie are both considerably shorter and a much earlier design than Fry," said Captain Morris of CPD. "The boiler type, as well as the hull design of the wreck are both indicative of a more modern vessel than either McCaw or Spunkie. The difference in the lengths has to do with the damage to the bow and stern."
"Every piece of evidence we have examined to date, from sonar images to primary documentation, points directly to this shipwreck being Agnes E. Fry," concludes Dr. Gordon Watts, IIMR director. "We look forward to working with the Charlotte team to confirm our suspicions."