4 more historic ships found off R.I.

May 15, 2006

With four more hulks spotted, Rhode Island can boast it has the world's "largest fleet of Revolutionary shipwrecks," a maritime expert says.

A recent find brings to six the number of historic sea wrecks dating back to the Revolutionary War found by the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project in its search for relics in Newport Harbor.

Project director D.K. Abbass told the Providence Journal the ships are believed to be part of a private fleet of 13 British transports sunk during the war for independence.

Abbas said among the wrecks still not located likely is the Endeavor, which Capt. James Cook sailed on his trip around the world beginning in 1768.

The discoveries were financed by a $20,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which covers exploration and discovery. New funding must be found to pay for study and excavation.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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