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August 4, 2004 
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Basque galleon discovered at Red Bay


RED BAY HARBOUR, Nfld. (CP) -- A 16th-century Basque galleon has been discovered at Red Bay Harbour off the coast of Labrador.

The ship is the fourth of its kind to be found in the area, a government news release said Tuesday.

The latest discovery was found about nine metres below the surface by Parks Canada's underwater archaeology unit during a dive last month.

The two divers were looking for whale bones, and checking on the condition of previously uncovered wrecks.

Over the last few weeks photographs were taken and compared with the earlier wrecks to confirm the timbers were those of a Basque ship.

During the 16th and 17th centuries the Basque ships carried out a large scale whale fishery in the Strait of Belle Isle, establishing at least 16 shore stations along the coast of Labrador.

The remains of nine Basque ships and boats have been recovered as a result of Parks Canada's underwater program.

Paul Shelley, the minister of tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador, said the ships discovered at Red Bay are considered to be the world's best-preserved examples from the period.



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