A 207-year-old whaling ship has been found at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, in US waters. The wooden brig Industry had two masts and a length of 64 feet (19.5 m) and was located off the town of Pescagoula, at a depth of 6,000 feet (nearly 1,830 m).
The remains “open a window into a little-known chapter in United States history, when the descendants of enslaved Africans and Native Americans worked as essential crew in one of the nation’s oldest industries,” the National Bureau of Investigation said. Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
According to Don Graves, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, “This 19th-century whaling ship will help us learn about the lives of Black and Native American sailors and their communities, as well as the immense challenges they faced on land and at sea.”
The official, whose distribution depends on the scientific agency responsible for locating the Industry, emphasized the relevance of the “wide contributions” made by the aforementioned ethnic groups, whose members were not only crew members, but also captains.
“African Americans and Native Americans thrived in the ocean economy despite facing discrimination and other injustices,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad.
Made at the end of February 2022, the discovery was made possible thanks to the work of a remotely operated vehicle from the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer, whose experts followed tracks provided by satellites and previous seabed surveys.
“The brig was built in 1815 in Westport [Massachusetts] and dedicated himself to whaling in the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico for 20 years. She was lost when a severe storm snapped her masts and opened her hull to the sea on May 26, 1836,” the agency reported in a press release.
Boats usually searched for sperm whales more than 70 miles (112 km) from the mouth of the Mississippi River. Of the 214 whaling expeditions recorded between 1780 and 1870, the Industry was the only one that did not return to port from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.