HomeOutdoorsMysterious Shipwreck Emerges on Outer Banks North Carolina Beach

Mysterious Shipwreck Emerges on Outer Banks North Carolina Beach

by Chris Haney
(Photo by Eliot Elisofon/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)

In late December, a mysterious shipwreck appeared in the sandy beaches of the Outer Banks island of Ocracoke off the North Carolina coast.

On Dec. 30, a local tour guide named Ray Stallings shared pictures of the remains of the shipwreck. He operates OBX Beach Shuttle Services, which he says provides a unique point of view on the area’s shipwrecks. It is not entirely uncommon for large shipwrecks to be found around the Outer Banks. In fact, around 40 large shipwrecks have been found on Ocracoke, and some are hundreds of years old.

However, there are debates over the most recent find, according to Mark Price of The News & Observer. Some think the shipwreck’s remains are from the schooner Nomis, which wrecked in 1935. Others, including Stallings, think the wreckage could date back even further. He believes the mysterious shipwreck is the Home – a huge steamship that wrecked in 1837. Experts say each of the ships sank during storms off the coast of Ocracoke.

“This particular wreck is here one day and gone the next,” Stallings told McClatchy News. “On that particular day, it was exceptionally exposed. I don’t believe it has ever been positively identified. Many on the island think it is the Nomis. I prefer to believe she is the wreck of the Home.”

Outer Banks Continue to Unveil Lost Shipwrecks

The newfound shipwreck in the Outer Banks could be the Nomis, the Home, or another shipwreck entirely. Although Stallings isn’t positive about either, he says the ship’s remains will likely be under sand again soon.

“Wrecks are constantly being exposed by the elements, only to be hidden again by shifting sands,” Stallings explained. “Some are here today, gone tomorrow. Some grace us with its presence for a few days or even a few weeks before being covered over. And you have the rare couple that remain constantly visible.”

The uncovering of this latest shipwreck is one of many off North Carolina’s coast in recent history. In 2020, another shipwreck revealed itself near Surf City. Researchers believe that the shipwreck was part of a mutiny and murder mystery.

Additionally, another shipwreck emerged off Hatteras Island in October 2019. Yet, after the shipwreck appeared, a bad storm covered up the ship’s remains under the sandy beaches once again. And earlier that same year, the skeleton of a 1930s shipwreck emerged from the sands of the same area. Experts identified the ship as the G.A. Kohler. The four-masted schooner became stranded on Hatteras Island in August 1933.

[H/T News & Observer]