Forensic experts are working to identify the remnants of a century-old shipwreck that were discovered over the summer at the southern end of Island Beach State Park.
Workers had found pieces of timber while they were doing repairs to the Barnegat Inlet North Jetty.
The shipwreck was the second one found during Superstorm Sandy repair projects. Timber from what was believed to be a mid-18th century wreck was found in Brick last November, The Asbury Park Press reported. That ship's identity also is a mystery.
"About half the wrecks that have left a permanent mark on the bottom, a keel or something, are unidentified," Dan Lieb, trustee at the New Jersey Shipwreck Museum in the InfoAge Science Center in Wall, told the newspaper.
The components pulled from the wreckage indicate the vessel was built between 1876 and 1914, the newspaper reported. The vessel is believed to have been near 200 feet long and wasn't fully excavated.
"It's not a vessel that divers could have got to - it was under the jetty, and it was really before the time of scuba divers," Lieb said.
Panamerican Consultants Inc., one of the subcontractors brought in to find out the ship's identity, examined historic records and has narrowed the wreck down to three unnamed schooner barges that sank off Barnegat in February 1926.
The barges, known as No. 20, No. 21 and No. 28, were all carrying cargoes of coal heading to Boston from Norfolk. The construction time period, identified wood types and vessel length all line up with what has been determined from the Barnegat Inlet wreck.
Information from: Asbury Park (N.J.) Press.