What happened to Alonso's ship and the other ships that were there?

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Although the ship is fixed by the end of the play, the reader knows from Miranda's opening monologue that it is initially destroyed in the tempest her father has called. In act 1, scene 2, she cries, "Oh, I have suffered / with those that I saw suffer. A brave vessel / who had, no doubt, some noble creature in her / Dash'd all to pieces." Here, Miranda claims to have seen the ship torn apart, perhaps by waves or rocks or some combination of the two. The phrase "all to pieces" implies it did not sink in a salvageable manner.

However, the reader has gathered by the end of the play that Prospero and Ariel have been up to tricks the entire time. In act 5, scene 1, Prospero finds his own personal dramatics coming to an end and sends Ariel "to the King's ship, invisible as thou art / there shalt thou find the mariners asleep / Under the hatches." Without any talk of the ship since it had been sunk, now it is whole enough for Ariel to find sailors asleep under the decks. The Boatswain wonders...

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