Reduced water levels on the Parana River in South America have revealed the lost wreck of a Mississippi style paddle steamer that sank around 120 years ago.
The steamboat was found near the coastal resort of Ita Ibate in the northern Argentine province of Corrientes after it sank “at the end of the 1800s or start of the 1900s”.
Local resident Raul Soperez, who owns several properties in front of where the wreck was discovered, told local media: “The boat is around 20 metres long and it provided services for the Toledo Alvarez Nunez family.
“It was a steamboat like those used on the Mississippi River which were common on the Parana River towards the end of the 19th century.”
Soperez and other residents were aware that the wreck was somewhere in the area but it had never been found until now.
According to local media, reduced water levels on the river, which at 4,880 kilometres (3,030 miles) is the second-largest in South America after the Amazon, revealed the wreck just 20 centimetres below the river’s surface.
Buoys were positioned around the wreck to prevent other boats from crashing into it while local experts removed the anchor and other items to preserve them.
Divers are using underwater equipment to film and study the wreck, according to reports.
Soperez said the boat would have been used for transport as there “used to be a meat-curing plant here and boats also transported corn and cassava” as well as other products.
He added: “According to locals, the boat sank in a storm at the end of the 1800s or start of the 1900s. It has remained under the water for well over a century.”
Soperez is speaking with local official Walter Almiron about preserving the wreck for its historical and cultural significance.
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