The wreck was later determined to be in a well-preserved portion of a wooden ship.
(St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office)
of an old ship, probably from the 18th century washed up on Ponte Vedra beach in Florida at night on Tuesday, local officials said.
Early Wednesday morning, Julie Turner and her 8-year-old son came to the ship, CBS47 reported. The two first thought it was a part of the fence, but realized soon after it was “a historical piece of artifact,” Turner told the news station. It was Later determined to be a well-preserved portion of a wooden ship.
“Actually, see this survive and come ashore. This is very, very rare. This is the holy grail of shipwrecks,” Marc Anthony, the owner of the Spanish Main Antiques in St. Augustine, told CBS47.
Anthony, who has more than 20 years to search for shipwreck artifacts and treasures and coins, among other historical artifacts, said the wreckage appeared to be from the 18th century.
According to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, officials for Guana River State Park in Ponte Vedra requested archaeologists to further inspect the wreckage.
Researchers from the St. Augustine Lighthouse and the Maritime Museum are documenting the artifact, and say that it might date back to the 1700’s.
They are “taking a lot of notes, doing drawings, in mapping it out. There are so many details that go into trying to assess the date, where it came from,” Tonya Creamer, who works in the museum, told CBS47.
Researchers have also taken photos and measured the ship, so that they can create a 3-D model.
What happens to the wreck next is not entirely clear.
Creamer said that since the ship washed ashore on the country, Florida officials finally decided what to do with the artifact. However, there is a chance that the 48-foot section of the ship can be reclaimed by the sea.
Creamer was not immediately available for additional comment when contacted by Fox News on Thursday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.