Explore Shipwreck Treasures on Display at the Museum of Cape May County

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A new exhibit, Shipwreck! Wrecks of the North Atlantic at the Museum of Cape May County is explaining history we can’t see on land.

Hundreds of pieces of underwater history have surfaced thanks to experienced diver and owner of Atlantic Divers, Inc., Captain Gene Peterson.

“There’s three or four times or 10 times more history in the ocean then there is on land," said Peterson. "So, when people come in and actually see that it makes them understand how much is out there.”

As a matter of fact, this area is the capital of shipwreck diving with what he believes to be 5,000 documented shipwrecks off the coast of New Jersey.

“Everything from sailing schooners to German U-boats to American submarines, tankers, destroyers. Just about every war took place off of the New Jersey coast. So if you want to discover history and you want to touch history you can do it by shipwreck diving,” said Peterson.

His business, Atlantic Divers, Inc., gives you the chance to learn how to dive and get a look at the wrecks. But with nearly 5,000 wreck dives logged himself he’s come across hundreds of pieces of history that are now on display in the museum in Cape May Court House.

“The telegraph over there is from the Varanger, which is known as the 28-mile wreck," said Peterson. "The Varanger was torpedoed in World War II and it’s about 28 miles offshore from Atlantic City and about 30 miles from Cape May in 150 feet of water. And this is the helm from the Miraflores, which is 53 miles off the coast. it’s in about 165 feet of water.”

From fine china to lights, the exhibit showcases a wide variety of treasures once thought to be lost at sea.

“Sharing this experience is something that I’ve always done because when you touch an artifact or you see an artifact you relay history,” said Peterson.

Get a look into this under the sea history every Tuesday to Saturday from now through the fall.


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