Georges Valentine (shipwreck)

The Georges Valentine Shipwreck Site is the site of the historic shipwreck of an Italian barkentine[3] off the coast of Hutchinson Island in Martin County, Florida, with the nearest landmark being the House of Refuge at Gilbert's Bar.

History
United Kingdom
Name: Cape Clear
Owner: S. Myers & Co., Liverpool
Port of registry: Liverpool
Route: UK to Australia
Builder: Bowdler, Chaffer & Co., Liverpool, England
Launched: 1869
In service: 1870
Out of service: 1889
Fate: Sold, 1889
France
Name: Georges Valentine
In service: 1889
Out of service: 1895
Status: Sold, 1895
Italy
Name: Georges Valentine
Owner: Mortolo & Simonetti, Genoa
In service: 1895
Homeport: Camogli
Fate: Wrecked, 16 October 1904
General characteristics [1]
Tonnage: 882 GRT
Length: 189 ft 7 in (57.79 m)
Beam: 31 ft 2 in (9.50 m)
Depth: 20 ft 5 in (6.22 m)
Georges Valentine Shipwreck Site
LocationHutchinson Island, Florida, Florida USA
Coordinates27°11′55.8″N 80°9′49.8″W
Built1869
NRHP reference #06000619[2]
FUAP #11
Significant dates
Added to NRHP19 July 2006[2]
Designated FUAP2006[3]

The iron-hulled barque was built in Liverpool, England in 1869 by Bowdler Chaffer & Company for S. Meyers & Company. Originally christened Cape Clear with Lloyd's of London in 1870, she started her career as a screw steamboat with auxiliary sail carrying passengers on the Australia - Liverpool run. She was purchased by a French firm based in Bordeaux in 1889, re-christened Georges Valentine and turned into a sailing bark by being stripped of all steam machinery except the boiler. Rigged as a three-masted barkentine, she was then sold to a firm based in Dunkirk, northern France. In 1895, she was sold to Mortolo & Simonetti, based in Genoa, Italy. She was based in Camogli, northern Italy and transported lumber regularly from Pensacola, Florida to South America.

In October 1904, the Georges Valentine, with a crew of twelve men commanded by Captain Prospero Mortolo, sailed with a load of milled mahogany from Pensacola bound for Buenos Aires. On 13 October 1904 the ship sighted Havana, Cuba, but she later hit a storm in the Florida Straits and was blown up the Atlantic coast of Florida where on 16 October 1904, despite her crew's attempts to keep her in deeper water, she ran aground in shallow water and wrecked off Hutchinson Island near Gilbert's Bar. Five crew members perished. Their bodies were not recovered. The seven survivors found refuge at the House of Refuge just 100 yards from the wreck site, where the House of Refuge's keeper, Captain William E. Rea, rendered aid to them.[3][4]

On 19 July 2006, the Georges Valentine Shipwreck Site was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.[2] On 16 October 2006, it became the eleventh Florida Underwater Archaeological Preserve.[3][5]

References

Media related to Georges Valentine (shipwreck) at Wikimedia Commons

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