A diver has unearthed a mysterious wooden shipwreck by Southend.
The wreckage was discovered in a patch of the Thames estuary, where the Thames meets the waters of the North Sea, on the morning of September 11.
Steven Ellis, 58, alongside his wife Carol and crewmates were checking out a patch of the estuary by Southend Pier when the remains dinged on the boat’s sounder.
Given that the estuary is flat and generally quite ‘bland’, it’s hard to miss anything poking out of the riverbed – let alone a shipwreck, Steven tells Metro.co.uk.
‘It’s exciting because if they’re uncharted waters, you don’t know what it could be,’ the retiree says.
‘It’s the fun part of diving – it could be really special or could just be a mundane wreck.’
‘No treasure chests yet,’ Steven says, adding: ‘It could be Roman, some old fishing boat. We just don’t know yet until we further investigate it.’
Steven says that the mid-morning tide gave him the perfect chance to survey the wreckage (Picture: Facebook)
Though the Romans weren’t exactly known for their rifles. Steven, a former fishmonger, says he found a ‘small number of spent British 303 bullet casings’.
First introduced in 1888, the chunky bullet cartridge was a staple of British army rifles throughout World War One and World War Two up until the 1950s.
But Steven isn’t placing his bets just yet. After all, the currents and tides of the Thames – a winding stretch of river that flows through the historic city of London – have a habit of dumping all sorts into the estuary.
‘I have positions in the Thames of 400 shipwrecks – there is a Roman wreck out there,’ he says.
Footage from the unknown shipwreck site shows loose, wispy timbers fraying off of the sand-covered wreckage.
While brackish water still may seem murky to most it was crystal clear by a diver or ship hunter’s standard, Steven says, given that it’s typically ‘pitch black and full of mud’.
Steven says he has some 400 shipwrecks in the Thames dotted on his map (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
He got a good look at the surface-exposed timbers and is already planning to return to the site and look through the archives to work out what the vessel was.
Steven, a licensed diver from Leigh-on-Sea who grew up around boats, is no stranger to the waters off of Southend, a coastal town 40 miles east of London.
He has long ducked his head below the water to visit The London, a 17th-century warship which sank in 1665 but only rediscovered in 2005.
An estimated 300 people drowned went the ship mysteriously exploded on a journey along the coast to Gravesend.
Since he began diving around The London in 2010, being able to explore the shipwreck has been a ‘dream come true’ (as has later discovering one himself).
He and …read more