Georges Valentine (shipwreck)

Georges Valentine (Shipwreck)


Georges Valentine (shipwreck)

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The Georges Valentine Shipwreck Site is an historic U.S. Italian barkentine shipwreck located off the coast of Hutchinson Island in Martin County, Florida, with the nearest landmark being the House of Refuge. 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, the vessel started its career as a screw steamboat with auxiliary sail. She carried passengers on the Australia - Liverpool run. She was purchased by a French firm in 1889, re-christened Georges Valentine and turned into a sailing bark in 1889 by being stripped of all steam machinery except the boiler. She was rigged as a three-masted barkentine. It was then sold to Dunkirk, also based in France. In 1895, the vessel was sold to Mortolo & Simonetti, based in Genoa, Italy. The ship was based in Camagoli, Italy and it transported lumber regularly from Pensacola, Florida to South America.

In October of 1904, the ship had been sailing with a crew of twelve men and was commanded by Captain Prospero Mortolo. It was carrying a load of milled mahogany from Pensacola to Buenos Aires. On October 13, 1904 the ship sighted Havana, Cuba. They later hit a storm in the Florida Straits and were shipwrecked after the ship grounded in shallow water despite the crews attempts to keep it in deeper water. Captain William E. Rea, Keeper of the House of Refuge, rendered aid...
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