Treasure hunters find $1 million in 1715 shipwreck


Treasure hunters on a boat called the Aarrr Booty (seriously) found more than $1 million in gold coins from a 1715 shipwreck off the Florida coast. Apparently 20 percent of the booty goes to the state of Florida with the rest split between the historic shipwreck salvage company, 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels LLC, and the subcontractors who recovered it. Half of the value is in just one coin, the so-called "Tricentennial Royal," meant to be delivered by the sunken fleet to Spanish King Phillip V.

"We're very respectful of the people who lost their lives in these shipwrecks. Unfortunately, they didn't make it," said Eric Schmitt who was on the team that found the gold. "We're able to continue their story on by continuing to bring these artifacts up."

"Sanford treasure hunters find $1M in gold off Florida's coast" (Orlando Sentinel)

1715 Treasure Fleet

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Columbus's Santa Maria discovered?

A sunken ship off Haiti may be Christopher Columbus's Santa Maria. The evidence so far is "very compelling," an Indiana University archaeologist told CNN. Read the rest
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What happened to the HMS Bounty? After Hurricane Sandy sinks tall ship, many questions remain

The HMS Bounty, a 180-foot sailboat, is shown submerged in the Atlantic Ocean during Hurricane Sandy approximately 90 miles southeast of Hatteras, N.C., Monday, Oct. 29, 2012. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tim Kuklewski.

This Washington Post article by Ian Shapira is the most comprehensive account I've seen of what happened to HMS Bounty, a replica of the 18th century tall ship which starred in the 1962 Marlon Brando "Mutiny on the Bounty" film, and various Pirates of the Caribbean movies. No definitive word on exactly what caused the accident, but many theories.

Of the 16-person crew, the Coast Guard rescued 14. They recovered the body of Claudene Christian, 42, and are still searching for Robin Walbridge, 63, the ship's captain.

In the LA Times today, a remembrance of Ms. Christian.

Even other sea captains are mystified.

Above, a Coast Guard photo of the foundering HMS Bounty.

(thanks, Andrew Thaler)

 Rescue video: Sandy sinks tall ship HMS Bounty replica off NC Read the rest

Titanic Tales: The Costa Concordia

Photo: An oil removal ship is seen next to the Costa Concordia cruise ship as it ran aground off the west coast of Italy at Giglio island, January 16, 2012. Over-reliance on electronic navigation systems and a failure of judgement by the captain are seen as possible reasons for one of the worst cruise liner disasters of all time, maritime specialists say. (REUTERS/ Max Rossi)

When I read hastily the headlines on Jan 14—a shipwreck in Italy, seventy missing, three known dead—I immediately thought: it must be the Africans again. The refugees, the clandestine, the invisible, the nameless, the unwanted… Those "less-than-human" people coming from all over the world to the Italian coast, looking for a safe haven from dictatorships, from hunger.

My Somali Italian friend Suad, who works with her community In Italy now, urges her people in Somalia NOT to take that dangerous ride: even if you survive the trip, what waits for you in Italy can be fatal. Italy is in deep economic crisis today, on the verge of bankruptcy and social disorder. The new government struggling to remain a G8 power while the euro and United Europe are at stake. Italy also struggles to overcome a big moral value crisis after twenty years of Berlusconi's reign of sexism, racism, indolence and corruption.

But I was wrong about the Africans. It was a fancy cruise ship full of wealthy foreigners that wrecked unexpectedly near the island of Giglio.

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