Quang Nam authorities undertaking protective measures for ancient shipwreck

Authorities of Hoi An city in the central coastal province of Quang Nam have ordered cordoning off and safeguarding around the clock a water area near Cam An ward where a submerged object, suspected to be an ancient shipwreck, was found recently.

A submerged object, suspected to be an ancient ship, lies close to the coast near Cam An ward, Hoi An city. (Photo: plo.vn)

Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Van Lanh said on December 27 that in addition to such measures to prevent unauthorised salvage operations, work are underway to raise local awareness about legal regulations on the protection of underwater heritage.

The incident unfolded on December 26 in the area where an emergency coastal embankment project was underway to combat erosion at Cua Dai beach. Local residents discovered an object believed to be a long-lost vessel. The impact of tidal surges and ocean waves caused a portion of the ship to protrude above the water surface.

According to Lanh, upon receiving reports of the discovery, specialised personnel from the city’s cultural heritage conservation centre were sent to the scene to conduct an initial check.

However, due to high tides over the past two days, the detailed structure of the artifact and the measurements of the wooden elements remain undetermined. Observations have indicated multiple dark brown wooden beams protruding from the sea surface, resembling the shape of a boat with a pointed end.

In accordance with the heritage law, the city-level administration does not have the authority to carry out excavation or archaeological work. Hoi An has reported the findings to and requested the Quang Nam Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism formulate the next steps, Lanh said.

Elderly fishermen in the area have speculated that the discovered wreckage could be an ancient merchant vessel.

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