A portion of a shipwreck was recently discovered on a Lake Michigan beach near Ludington State Park and historians are working to identify the wreckage. The fragment was revealed by waves amid high water levels on the Great Lakes, CBS affiliate WWMT reported.
Officials with the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum say the remains are consistent with schooners built between the 1850s and 1880s. They are working with the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association to determine the origin of the fragment, WWMT reported.
Researchers from the museum have identified five possible vessels the wreckage could be from: the 1841 J.B. Skinner, the 1852 Eclipse, the 1862 Orphan Boy, the 1863 J.O. Moss; or the 1875 Frank Canfield.
The fragment measures 32 feet by 8 feet and consists of 15 "ribs" with planking on both sides. According to the museum, a large wooden windlass - a type of winch - that staff from Ludington State Park found a few years ago may also be from the same wreck.
WWMT reports that the area where the fragment was found is known for revealing old shipwrecks. The museum said more than 300 ships have grounded on the west coast of Michigan over the last 170 years.
The museum said the new wreckage was found in an especially hazardous area for ships.
"The waters between Big and Little Sable Points are notoriously dangerous. Dozens of ships have become total losses between the points, some in deep water offshore, but many more grounding near shore," the museum wrote on its Facebook page. "Some were salvaged if not too badly damaged, others were left to break up in the surf."