In 1778, thirteen ships had been sunk by British forces in the Newport Harbour off Rhode Island during the American Revolution. Today, researchers have identified archaeological sites related to the ships. Based on historical data, one of the ships is likely to be the HMS Endeavour which Captain James Cook had sailed on when he visited the Pacific (specifically Tahiti, New Zealand and Australia) in 1768 to 1771.
The ship, which had been renamed HMS Sandwich, was subsequently sold and then used to transport British troops.
The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP) had utilised a grant to locate documents in London to identify the groups of ships in the fleet, together with details of where each group was scuttled. One of the groups, comprising five ships, included the HMS Sandwich.
Four of the sites have been mapped, with a fifth site detected using remote sensing technology.
Before further investigations of each wreck's properties and artefacts can proceed, the RIMAP would need to raise funds to build a special facility to manage and store any material salvaged from the archaeological sites.