Notorious shipwrecks off Westport — new exhibit

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Visit Horseneck Point Lifesaving Station in Westport this summer to view their latest exhibit: Notorious Shipwrecks off Westport!

The entrance to Buzzards Bay is littered with shipwrecks, though it is impossible be certain of how many ships have been lost in this area of shoals and reefs, dense fog, and strong tides. Locally, most vessels went aground on Hen and Chickens Reef at the southern end of Gooseberry Island. Although nowadays there are fewer wrecks due to improvements in navigation, these waters still hold many stories.

Artifacts and tales about the fate of three large ships, all over 300 feet long, that went aground nearby - the USS Yankee (1908), the HMCS St. Francis (1945) and the Angela (1971) – are on display.

Organizers have found records to locate 20 wrecks in Westport area waters, but many more have been lost in the sands of time. The exhibit also has a blank nautical chart for anyone who knows about other wrecks to add information.

The opening reception is on Saturday, June 24, at 2 p.m. Exhibit hours are Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12 to 4 pm through Sept. 3.

Admission is free, although donations are welcome. The exhibit is supported by in part by the Chip Gillespie Memorial Fund and by a grant from the Westport Cultural Council.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.