Diver discovers possible historic anchor off Campbell River

The rusted, barnacle-encrusted anchor was wedged into the bottom off Quadra Island when commercial diver Richard Hamer came across it last week.

And after hauling it out of the water Feb. 14, Hamer is hoping to prove that it came from a Spanish galleon or similar-aged sailing vessel.

“This is an anchor I believe to be from a Spanish galleon,” Hamer said after hauling it off his boat and onto the government wharf in Campbell River. “I’m not positive but that’s what I believe. It is definitely an old anchor.”

Hamer discovered it off of Quadra Island across from Campbell River alongside some other artifacts like old bottles, plates and cutlery. He was diving for sea urchins when he came upon the anchor embedded in the gravel.

“I couldn’t resist and (not) bring it up,” Hamer said.

He believes the anchor is old because of the shape of it and the workmanship looks handmade, with such characteristics as the squared-off metal on the arms.

Saanich naval historian Michael Layland told CTV news that the anchor is not likely to have come off a galleon but more likely one of the longboats that were used by explorers like Capt. George Vancouver to probe the inlets and straits around the islands in the Salish Sea. The mother ship would usually anchor in a safe harbour and send out the smaller longboats.

Hamer, meanwhile, would like to donate the anchor to the Campbell River Museum if it proves to be of historic value.

 

Commercial diver Richard Hamer (right) hauled this anchor off the bottom of Discovery Passage off Quadra Island Feb. 14 and believes it to be from an old sailing ship, perhaps even a Spanish galleon. See story on page 2. Photo by Alistair Taylor/Campbell River Mirror

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