Bexley youngsters explore underwater treasures from 1805 shipwreck

News Shopper: Joe Russell, 17, and Stuart Brown, 15, get to grips with underwater artefacts Joe Russell, 17, and Stuart Brown, 15, get to grips with underwater artefacts

BEXLEYHEATH youngsters have learned how to investigate underwater lost treasures.

Ten members of organisation Diversions Scuba examined artefacts including musket balls, nails and buttons recovered from the sailing ship Earl of Abergavenny which foundered in a storm in Dorset in 1805.

The ship was launched in Northfleet in 1797 and Commanded by John Wordsworth - brother of the famous poet William - who died along with 271 others.

News Shopper: Bexley youngsters explore underwater treasures

The youngsters got to grips with the history of the ship on December 7 at Crook Log Leisure Centre in Brampton Road, Bexleyheath, and learned the basics of nautical underwater archaeology.

They studied actual artefacts recovered from the wreck, including musket balls, nails, buttons, pottery fragments, company seals, flints, coins and remains from muskets.

There was also a chance to explore a mock wreck site with items such as a canon, bones, various artefacts and drawing the remains of the wreck to scale.

News Shopper: The kids looked at wrecks from the sight

Finally they donned their scuba kit and spent several hours applying the skills underwater with a submerged mock wreck.

Diversions employee Joyce Sutherland said: “Not only was the day great fun for all concerned but the skills attained may well assist the young people in their future careers." 

Diversions gives Bexley’s youngsters the opportunity to try scuba diving for free as a diversionary activity to help reduce anti-social behaviour in the borough.

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