The North Sea has released several pieces of historic flotsam that have washed up along the German coast on the island of Suederoog, including the Spanish ship Ulpiano, which ran aground at Christmas 1870, the press reported Wednesday.

The small cargo ship's iron hull is almost completely visible at low tide, the Schleswig Holsteinischer Zeitungsverlag reported on its Web site.

The Ulpiano ran aground 142 years ago on a sand bar near the island of Suederoog after being trapped in the sea ice in one of the harshest winters ever registered in the North Sea.

The vessel's 12-man crew was able to abandon ship on Christmas Day 1870 aboard a lifeboat and they were rescued shortly thereafter by the residents of the small island, who treated them "like sons and not like shipwrecked sailors," said Hans Joachim Kuehn, director emeritus of the Archaeological Institute of the German region of Schleswig Holstein.

Along with the Ulpiano, the North Sea also released nearby the remains of a cargo sailing ship from the early 18th century, as well as other vessels that still remain to be identified.

The sandbar near Suederoog Island is one of the largest along the Frisian coast, a region that since 1600 has registered more than 800 shipwrecks. EFE