Hurricane Michael dredges up 19th-century Panhandle shipwreck

The hull, originally washed up by an 1899 hurricane, shows up on Dog Island in Franklin County.

A photo of the shipwreck that washed ashore on Dog Island. [Carrabelle Boat Club Facebook photo]
A photo of the shipwreck that washed ashore on Dog Island. [Carrabelle Boat Club Facebook photo]

Hurricane Michael carved through the Florida Panhandle with crushing force, reducing entire neighborhoods to flattened rubble and killing at least 27 people, according to state and local officials.

But among the destruction is also a reemergence of history.

The storm's surge unearthed a shipwreck from the 19th century, one or possibly two sunken ships that were washed up by an 1899 hurricane on Dog Island, across St. George Sound from Carrabelle in Franklin County.

An overhead photo of the Dog Island shipwreck. [Carrabelle Boat Club Facebook photo]

Photos posted to the Carrabelle Boat Club Facebook page depict what could be the outline of a hull poking through the sand, as well as the splintered remnants of another large piece.

According to Sarah Revell, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of State, the wrecks "have been mapped and investigated scientifically multiple times," and parts of them have been exposed in the past.

Because of past research and Hurricane Michael recovery efforts happening nearby, "we do not have immediate plans to revisit the site," she said. "We may visit the site in the near future with some of our partners if it has not been covered up by sand again."

This article originally appeared in the Tampa Bay Times on Oct. 23, 2018.

Emily L. Mahoney is a staff writer in the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee bureau.