Shipwreck from the first world war surfaces on UK beach

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A German shipwreck from the first world war appear at Cornwalll beach after recent storms. 

According to Cornwall Live, the ship is more than 100 years old and became stranded on a reef after being towed by the Royal Navy. 

It is thought that the ship, Carl,  was built in Cumbria in 1893 and was impounded at the start of the first war in 1914 as it was a German ship in Cardiff docks. 

Some even speculate that the sailing vessel (SV) was an enemy minelayer.



The ship’s remains become exposed during stormy weather

In 1917, the Carl was being towed to London to be broken up for scrap but it broke free during a storm and grounded on a reef in Cornwall. 

The Carl was declared a lost cause after it broke apart after hitting rocks; the majority of the ship that could be salvaged was taken away and scrapped.  

The remains of the ship’s hull soon became submerged in sand hiding the majority of the ship for more than a century.

The ship’s hull regularly is often exposed in winter, as the sand covering it gets washed away by storms; this is exactly what happened at Christmas as the ship’s hull started to surface after some turbulent weather. 

In 1966, the Daily Mail published and extract of a letter to the Padstow Echo, in which an eyewitness recalls the time the SV Carl became stuck. 

He wrote: “‘The Carl went aground on the outer reef. Two Admiralty tugs came from Devonport to try to refloat her.'”



SV Carl was a three masted ship, with one of the masts now clearly exposed and still mostly in tact.

The letter continues: “‘They got her off the reef, but as soon as they had done so, the towing hawser on each tug parted, Carl went ahead out of control and grounded on the inner reef.

“‘She was there examined by salvage experts … who found no damage whatever to the hull. The Admiralty tugs therefore had another try to tow her off, but once more both ship’s towing harnesses parted. 

“‘Carl broke her back and became a total loss. But for the unusual misfortune of both towing hawsers parting on two successive attempts Carl would in all probability have been salvaged.’”

What remains of the Carl is in surprisingly good condition considering it had been battered by the ocean for 102 years. The remanant sticking out of the sand has captured the attention of curious visitors, eager to inspect the structures rising to the surface.

Most of the exposed wreck is the remains of its metal structure but you can also spot some submerged timber in the tidal pools that surround the broken ship. 

Surfing experts also catch the waves that break over the exposed structures but this is dangerous and should be left to the professionals.

The Carl isn’t the only ship to have met its watery demise on the Cornish Coast; it’s estimated that over 6000 ships have been wrecked on the 250 mile coastline.



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