19th-century British ship wreck found off Mexico

Mexico City, June 7 (IANS/EFE) Mexican marine archaeologists have located the wreck of the 19th-century British ship HMS Forth, which sank off the Yucatan Peninsula 164 years ago, the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said.

The ship, which belonged to the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, sank after hitting the Alacranes reef.

HMS Forth went down on the night of Jan 14, 1849, while sailing to Bermuda.

The ship’s crew made it to a nearby island, was rescued by a steam ship and reached Havana.

An INAH team led by archaeologist Helena Barba Meinecke explored the northern section of the reef and spotted metal items on the sea floor that gave researchers clues that it was a mail ship.

One of the other wrecks found in the area may be that of HMS Tweed, another Royal Mail Steam Packet Company vessel that sank in 1847 or of the Belgian ship Charlote, which went to the bottom in 1853.

Research conducted from 2010 to 2012 turned up historical references to 25 shipwrecks.

Marine archaeologists are planning other expeditions to explore additional wrecks, the INAH said.

–IANS/EFE

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