THE last thing fisherman Patrick Healy expected to find while out fishing was an 8ft cannon that may date back to the 1600s.
But much to his surprise that’s exactly what happened to the Skibbereen man and his fellow crew members while fishing on the MFV Horizon off the Old Head of Kinsale in recent days.
‘We were out about four miles from the Lusitania ship wreck and we were just trawling the nets as normal when we saw it. We thought it was a stone at first,’ Patrick told The Southern Star.
‘Then we noticed that it was a cannon. We were going to take it on board but it started to cut the nets and as the weather was really bad, we had to let it go unfortunately.’
Patrick said that the cannon seemed very corroded and was roughly a tonne in weight and measured between 8-9ft in length.
‘We were told it might date back to 1600s and also that it could be worth a lot of money and was definitely one of the more unusual things that we trawled up.
‘Luckily I was able to grab a picture of it before we let it go,’ he said.
Eoin McGarry from Dungarvan, an experienced diver who has dived at the wreck of the Lusitania on several occasions, said it was a pity that Patrick and his crew were unable to hold onto the cannon.
‘If they had managed to bring it ashore they would have had to contact the underwater archaeological team to let them know about this rare find and they would have got a finder’s fee too,’ said Eoin.
‘It might be worth marking the track where they were trawling last week so that divers may be able to locate where this cannon is.’