Exciting plans are underway to salvage an historic clipper ship off the coast of New Jersey. Local historians, civic-minded citizens of the Jersey Shore, and descendants of shipwreck survivors are organizing to support the recovery of the ship and its contents, which are believed to be buried beneath the sand just a few yards off the shoreline of Asbury Park.

On November 13, 1854, some 240 German immigrants died within site of their American destination when the New Era ran aground near Deal Beach, New Jersey. Of the 120 who survived, many did so by climbing ropes and lashing themselves to the ship’s rigging for up to 36 hours before their rescue.

An article by Julius Sachse on the wreck and published in 1907 by the Pennsylvania-German Society is now in the public domain and is available here.

A project to recover the remains of the wreck is underway, led by historian, doctor and diving enthusiast Richard Fernicola of Allenhurst, New Jersey, and a fledgling network of descendants of New Era survivors.