PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - LATEST: Ponte Vedra Beach shipwreck draws large crowds
A centuries-old ship washed ashore in St. Johns County on Wednesday.
Julie Turner and her 8-year-old son found the wreckage on Ponte Vedra Beach around 8 a.m.
She said at first, she thought it was a piece of a pier or fence -- but then realized it was a very old ship.
CHOPPER PHOTOS: Here's what the shipwreck looked like from the air
"We walked and checked it out and immediately knew it was a historical piece of artifact," she said.
Spanish Main Antiques owner Marc Anthony, a self-proclaimed treasure hunter, told Action News Jax the ship appeared to be from the 18th century.
He said it is extremely rare for such wreckage to wash ashore.
"To actually see this survive and come ashore. This is very, very rare. This is the holy grail of ship wrecks," Anthony said.
Action News Jax was there as an archeology team surveyed it.
"Taking lots of notes, doing drawings, mapping it out. There are so many details that go into trying to assess the date, where it came from," Tonya Creamer of St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum said.
She said it is up to the state to decide what to do with the wreckage.
"This is state land, state beach area, so we just share our knowledge and our information, what we’re documenting right now, with officials and its up to them what to do next," she said.
Action News Jax reached out to FWC and DEP to learn what's next for the shipwreck.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.