Ponte Vedra Beach shipwreck draws large crowds

The shipwreck that washed ashore in Ponte Vedra Beach is drawing large crowds.

A steady stream of people came and went Saturday as USF researchers documented the shipwreck that washed ashore in Ponte Vedra Beach.

“It’s pretty neat how it’s still intact,” Katelyn Anderson said.

She and her family drove to Ponte Vedra Beach from Camden County, Georgia Saturday to see the wreckage.

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“People are coming here because they love history. I think it shows the passion that people have for this,” Dr. Lori Collins, research professor at University of South Florida, said.

Sky Action News Jax flew above the ship Wednesday, hours after it washed ashore.

Several pieces of the ship laid further up the beach Saturday after waves caused them to break off.

A steady stream of people came and went as Collins and her research group documented the shipwreck.

The team moved the crowd back as researchers scanned the ship with a 3-D laser.

“This is a way to digitally archive and preserve it while we determine what the best strategy is for either preservation or conservation,” Collins said.

St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office shared a post on Facebook asking people who go to see the wreckage to park in designated areas -- next to the Exxon station or at the Middle Beach lot.

Deputies are asking people to refrain from parking on private property along the beach.

Collins and other archeologists are urging people not to touch the ship.

“I heard yesterday someone showed up with a chainsaw. These are already imperiled resources, we need to respect them,” she said. “No hands on, no taking away souvenirs.”

Collins said for those who can’t make it to see the ship, her team is working on a digital replica that will be available online.

HEADING OUT TO SEE THE SHIPWRECK TODAY?? Please make sure you are parking in designated parking areas and not on the...

Posted by St. Johns County Sheriff's Office on Saturday, March 31, 2018