Historic Wreck News and Events


Archaeology Magazine features Mary Celestia

Archaeology Magazine's November/December 2011 issue (Vol. 64 #6) featured an article Letters from Bermuda: Secrets of a Civil War Shipwreck by Dr. James Delgado. The article describes the sinking of the American Civil War blockade runner Mary Celestia on a Bermuda reef and the 2011 excavation of the wreck by scientists from the American National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Bermuda Government.

The article can be read here:



National Geographic features Mary Celestia excavation

Below is a link to National Geographic's online article "Shipwreck Pictures: Civil-war era wine, cologne found".

The photos show the excavation of the wreck of the Mary Celestia which sank off Bermuda's south shore in 1864.

                                          Click here to read the article.


Hidden crate of wine excavated from the wreck of the Mary Celestia

Articles in Bermuda's local papers on the excavation of a hidden stash of 5 unopened bottles of wine found in the bow of the Mary Celestia.



Also, watch footage of the wine recovery, courtesy of LookBermuda.


Mary-Celestia Wine Recovery from LookBermuda on Vimeo.



The Riddle of the Crest

Have you ever looked closely at Bermuda's coat of arms and wondered about the ship depicted there? Perhaps you assumed it was the Sea Venture, the well known ship that wrecked in 1609, leading to Bermuda's colonisation by the British in 1612. Evidence suggests this assumption may be incorrect!

    Read the whole fascinating story in   "The Riddle of the Crest"by Custodian of Historic Wrecks, Dr. Philippe Rouja, featured in the heritage issue of the RG Magazine, May 2009.

And watch the video, courtesy of LookBermuda.


Riddle of the Crest from LookBermuda on Vimeo.

The first of a series of Educational Documentaries being produced by LookBermuda.
For more information visit


Unidentified Harbour Wreck, Royal Navy Dockyard: Report of Fieldwork, December 2007

In mid-2007, Dr. Philippe Max Rouja, Custodian of Historic Wrecks, inspected the remains of anPhoto: J.Hoyt, Dec 15th 2007 unidentified vessel located off of the Royal Navy Dockyard, Ireland Island, Bermuda (see Figures 1 and 2). The iron-hulled site, of approximate dimensions 65 by 20 feet (19.81 by 6.1m) sits in approximately 45 feet (13.72m) of water. The site is currently under threat from the development of extended piers associated with cruise ships entering the Dockyard, as well as potential damage from prop wash.

On August 10, 2007, while guests of the Bermuda Maritime Museum (BMM), Dr. Nathan Richards and Dr. Bradley Rodgers of the Program in Maritime Studies at East Carolina University (ECU) carried out a reconnaissance dive on the site. The results of the survey culminated in a small not-to-scale site sketch, confirming all of the information outlined by Dr. Rouja. The wreck is very much intact, although it is missing decking, engines and machinery. 

In September, 2007, the Bermuda Maritime Museum received funding to carry out site recording of the vessel with the intention to provide recommendations as to the vessel's future. The project was carried out with the financial assistance and with further in-kind contributions from East Carolina University, the Bermuda Maritime Museum, agencies of the Government of Bermuda, and local Bermuda divers. 

Click here to read the full fieldwork report submitted to the Government of Bermuda and the Bermuda Maritime Museum, by Nathan Richards and Joseph Hoyt, from East Carolina University. 



Also, watch video footage by Dr. Philippe Rouja, Custodian of Historic Wrecks, taken before the full survey.

19th C Tug at Dockyard Outside North Arm Bermuda from Dr Philippe Max Rouja on Vimeo.

This is the tug we discovered while surveying for the new cruise-ship dock "Heritage Wharf" now completed.
This is an early film made soon after discovery and before full survey.
Subsequent to this we had to remove the steering quadrant that stuck up above the wreck and we also removed and relocated a number of corals to the cruise-ship grounding site.