Five cannons from Blackbeard’s shipwreck reached the surface for the first time in almost 300 years Monday. The U.S. Coast Guard teamed up with the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources to bring the weaponry from the 1700's back up from the deep.
The U.S. Coast Guard's oldest ship, Smilax, also known as the "Queen of the Fleet," took the crew to look for Blackbeard’s treasure. The group helped recover five cannons, that weighed at least 2000 pounds, from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. They also recovered two large concretions the size of twin beds that contained barrel hoops.
At least 20 of the 40 guns archeologists have said were equipped on Blackbeard’s vessel, Queen Anne’s Revenge, have been found. 29 guns have been located at the shipwreck site since it was first discovered in 1996.
Shanna Daniel is a conservatist on the project. She’s been working on Blackbeard’s shipwreck for the last six years.
"You're sitting here waiting on board and you see something pops up, and it’s one of Blackbeard’s cannons. It’s just a wonderful sight to see," Daniel said.
Divers helped strap and bring the findings to the surface. The findings have been underwater since the ship went aground in 1718.
Guardsmen used a 100 foot, 200 ton flat-bottom intercostal cutter to grab these cannons out of the water. The crane can hold up to ten thousand pounds to hoist these historic cannons out of the water.
"You just got to be cautious through the whole thing because it would not be very good for cannons that weighs 2000 pounds to either fall back,” Daniel said.
Daniel said it can take up to five years to restore one cannon for display. The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources said it hopes to recover all the artifacts from the shipwreck by 2014.