In what appears to have been an astonishing find, scientists recently lifted a 28-foot wooden rudder from a shipwreck off of the southern coast of the U.K. Though it was first located and taken from the wreckage site earlier this summer, the BBC reports that this item, the most significant piece yet to be recovered, has now been successfully raised.
It depicts what appears to be the face of a man with a mustache and reportedly weighs more than three tons. Photos show the piece being hauled up from its former resting place in the waters and lowered via ropes and girders onto the harbor to be taken care of later. Boat dock insurance as well as proper coverage for the means of conveying precious cargo can all be tested in such moments, especially when the cargo is also heavy.
The rudder is said to be from a 400-year old ship of Dutch origin (what is known as the Swash Channel Wreck) and has been carved to resemble a man with a mustache and long hair. Remarkably, the face is extraordinarily intact for having spent so much time submerged. Still, there is much more work left to do, according to University of Bournemouth Archeologist Dave Parham.
"It is the ship itself that is significant − there are only a few wrecks like this in the world, and it tells us more about the beginnings of the large-scale international trade," he told the Guardian.
Even a significant marine discovery like this is just one step in a larger process that can take years of hard labor. With marine insurance in place, the planning and deployment of different stages of marine exploration can be completed with a lower level of risk.