PEI

P.E.I. fisherman finds hefty anchor outside of Malpeque Harbour

A P.E.I. lobster fisherman was caught off guard when he hauled up an anchor weighing about 360 kilograms on Friday.

'It could just be off any old ship that lost an anchor ... but it could be off something cooler'

Matt Wall says the anchor was too big for the scale at the wharf so he had a boom truck lift the anchor to gauge the size. (Travis Kingdon/CBC)

When Matt Wall set off from Malpeque Harbour to start the spring season this year, he had no idea that one of his catches was going to be an anchor that would barely fit into the bed of his pickup truck. 

Wall was out fishing last week, hauling lobster traps, when he noticed something unusual.

"It just seemed like the traps were stuck on the bottom," he said.

Wall and the crew quickly realized they had snagged an anchor.

"I didn't think it was a big deal at the time, there's all [kinds of] anchors out there, net anchors, small stuff," Wall said.

The anchor is too wide to sit completely in Wall's truck. (Travis Kingdon/CBC)

It was bigger than they first thought and when they pulled it up it slipped out of their grasp.

But Wall marked the spot. He had a diver scheduled to come out and look for the anchor on Tuesday, but after fishing on Saturday, Wall decided to head back out and look for it again. 

"We finished up kind of early yesterday and I couldn't wait," he said. 

"We decided we'll drag around for it for a while and see if we can't get it, and it took about an hour and we ended up hooking it and bringing it to the top of the water."

Wall, right, poses with his crew and the anchor he dragged up. (Submitted by Matt Wall)

The hook they used is a small anchor, weighing about 13 kg, said Wall. The boat drags it along the bottom and fishermen wait for it to catch on something. 

"It's only 10-inches wide so the chances of hooking something are pretty slim," he said. 

Wall and the crew tied it to the boat as tightly as they could, making sure it wouldn't fall off. They brought it back to the wharf where they used a hoist to lift it out of the water. 

"We were pumped," he said. "Something like that you don't find very often."

He wanted to weigh it Saturday, but it wouldn't fit on the scale.

He had a boom truck come by and lift the anchor out of his truck bed on Sunday. The operator of that truck estimated the anchor could weigh up to 360 kg, said Wall. 

Where did it come from?

Wall said he thinks it might be quite old, perhaps from the 1800s, because of its size.

"But it could be older, could be a little newer," he said. 

"The metal itself, it's made in layers. It's not smooth like a newer-style anchor would be. And just the sheer size of it, no boats are using an anchor that size."

Wall says he thinks the layers in the metal mean it's quite old. (Travis Kingdon/CBC)

Wall has taken a sample of the metal and will be getting it tested for age and composition. From there, he hopes to have an expert take a look at the sample, and some photos, to figure out where it might be from.

"It could just be off any old ship that lost an anchor, and no real story, but it could be off something cooler if we find out how old it is," he said.

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