Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Friday, 23 April 2010

The Elephant Tusk - my theory

There is excellent coverage in the local papers this week regarding a Tusk found on the shore at Louisa Bay Broadstairs which will invite many debatable theories to its origin and how it got there.

I do have my own theory and looking at the picture I would agree it is an Elephant Tusk, my second thoughts are that it would have been part of a general cargo, perhaps lost overboard from a trading ship in the days of sail. There have been other finds and there are incidents in living memory where fishermen have brought up tusks off the sea bed in their nets around the Kent coast. So such a shipwreck theory cannot be ruled out.
There are records of ships coming ashore around the Kent coast carrying Tusks, for example the "Andorinha" that came ashore at Deal in 1849 had an entire cargo of Tusks.
Looking closer to Broadstairs and where the Tusk was found there is an account of the sailing ship "Emanuel" being stranded in that area on the 2nd December 1794.
Research shows that the "Emanuel" was on route from Mogadore to Amsterdam. Mogodore is the old name for the more commonly known port of Eassaouria in Morroco which two hundred years ago was a thriving trading port with Europe. So working on the theory any trade with a North African port would have included the Tusks, this does add weight to the theory and it is a long shot but there could be a link with the “Emanuel” and the Tusk.

Considering that the low tides we have been having lately have been exceptional there is every possibility there could be more further out.

One of the best references for researching any ship lost or stranded off the Thanet coastline is the Shipwreck Index of the British Isles Volume two by Richard & Bridget Larn. Section four covers all the details of inshore wrecks lost under the heading Kent mainland, listing in most cases the Lloyds list reference or Board of Trade wreck return ideal references for further research. The "Emanuel" is Lloyds list 2,669 02.12.1794 (tue)(R).


ascu75 aka Don said...

Cheers Tony

Tony Beachcomber said...

The last recorded find of a Elephant tusk was around 12 years ago. The tusk was trawled up in Sandwich Bay area by a Ramsgate fishing boat and was in poor condition through laying in the mud and was badly pitted and porous.
The "Andorinha" was actually lost in Sandwich Bay which in 1849 would have been classed as Deal. The wreck site is somewhere opposite the golf club house but the exact location is not clear.