By Sara Martino
Gloucester City News
A non-profit group called the “Andrew Doria – the First Salute,” wants to build a replica of the American warship scuttled and burned near the Brooklawn waterfront to avoid capture by British troops in 1777.
The organization, along with David Howe of the Institute of Maritime History, is searching for the “Andrew Doria,” and some clues have been found.
Howe and the group think they know the river location, which is heavily sedimented, where reportedly a British ship named the “Racehorse” was also burned and sunk.
An initial reconnaissance managed to localize some of targets for further investigation, which according to the searchers is a necessary first step.
“We found two or three possible sites near Brooklawn using sidescan sonar and a magnetometer, but did not have enough divers along to dive on this recent trip,” Howe said.
His dive boat, “The Roper,” needing engine work, a good scrubbing, and fresh paint, etc., will be in Florida for the summer.
“Bob Bevan of Gloucester City told us about a large old anchor recently recovered near the Sunoco terminal,” Howe said.
“It is about the right size of our target ships’ tackle, but it has an iron stock instead of wood, so I think it is 19th century, not from an earlier time,” Howe added.
“I hope it is not from the ship that we will be searching for. That anchor was found by dredging and that could possible disturb the Andrew Doria or the Racehorse,” he said.
Howe is hoping to return to the Brooklawn/Delaware River again in late summer or early fall to dive the sites again.