Jacksonville, FL – August 11, 2014, Blue Water Ventures International, Inc. (OTC:BWVI) announced today that last week one of its salvage vessels, the M/V Endeavor, working off the coast of Ft. Pierce, FL, recovered a beautiful gold coin along with a number of silver coins and other shipwreck related artifacts.
While working in predominately virgin territory on one of the 1715 Fleet wrecks site known as the Douglas Beach Wreck, BWVI’s Capt. John Brandon and the crew of the M/V Endeavor made the discovery while exploring a little excavated area of the site. Along with the coins were discovered broken pieces of Kang Hsi Chinese porcelain, shards of pottery, ships spikes, encrusted objects and scattered ballast stones; all significant archaeological indicators of potential future recoveries.
The Douglas Beach Wreck is one of the richest Spanish galleon shipwreck sites off the coast of Florida and in the past has produced thousands of gold coins and tens of thousands of silver coins as well as significant amounts of gold jewelry and a wealth of artifact materials both of intrinsic and historical value. BWVI believes its recent discoveries may point the way to future significant discoveries in unexplored areas of the Douglas Beach Wreck site.
BWVI is exploring the Douglas Beach Wreck site under contract with Brent Brisben’s 1715 Fleet -Queen’s Jewels, LLC, which holds the federal and state rights to the site.
1715 Fleet History
“………The five ships of the New Spain Flota were under the general command of Captain General Don Juan Esteban de Ubilla. Juan Estebán de Ubilla was himself on the capitana, which carried some thirteen hundred chests containing 3,000,000 silver coins. There were also gold coins, gold bars, silver bars, and jewelry, as well as emeralds, pearls, and precious Kangxi Chinese export porcelain which had been brought to Mexico by the Manila Galleons. The almiranta carried nearly a thousand chests of silver coins, each individual chest containing some 3,000 coins. The refuerzo carried eighty-one chests of silver coins and over fifty chests of worked silver. Another ship, a patache, carried some 44,000 pieces of eight. One frigate helped complete the flotilla. The French warship Griffon, commanded by Captain Antoine d’Aire, was forced to sail with the fleet; the Spaniards, although allied with the French, mistrusted them and feared that word of the fleet’s departure would leak out, thus compromising the safety of the richly laden galleons. In his 1975 book, “The Funnel of Gold”, historian Mendel Peterson estimated the value of the registered cargo of the combined fleet at 7,000,000 pieces of eight. Captain Antoine d’Aire reported that the fleet’s entire cargo was estimated at 15 million silver piastres (pieces of eight).
The fleet had suffered many delays, and had been sitting idle for nearly two years. Pressure had been mounting for the fleet to sail. The Spanish crown was in dire need of money; so were merchants, unable to make their exotic goods available for sale on the European market. Under this tremendous pressure, Ubilla made the decision to start the long and perilous voyage back to the Old World, even though the hurricane season had long begun. This decision would prove to be fatal, for unknown to the Spaniards a tremendous and exceptionally powerful hurricane was brewing to the southeast of Cuba. The great treasure fleet of 1715 sailed from Havana harbor in the early morning of July 24th, a beautiful and calm day, with a gentle breeze to help the ships find the Florida current which ran north and up the Straits of Florida (the Gulf Stream). Slowly and smoothly the ships of Ubilla’s fleet gently followed the East coast of Florida, staying far enough away from the shore to take advantage of the Gulf Stream, staying clear of the treacherous shoals and reef formations which fringed the Florida coast. For the first five days the voyage was uneventful with the weather remaining good and giving no indication whatsoever of the rapidly approaching killer storm. But on July 29th, long swells started to appear, coming from the southeast. The atmosphere became heavy with moisture with the sun shining brightly through the haze. A gentle breeze still blew and the sea was smooth, but the swells started to make the ship gently dip and roll. Experienced navigators, pilots, and old hands started to be concerned. They knew that these were the early signs of an impending tropical storm……….”
Continue Reading at: http://news.bwvint.com/1715-fleet-history.
You may view more treasures recovered by BWVI from the 1715 wrecks at: http://news.bwvint.com/1715-treasure-gallery.
CONTACT: KEITH WEBB, CEO Blue Water Ventures International 904-215-7601 Keith.Webb@bwvint.com www.bwvint.com
ABOUT BLUE WATER VENTURES INTERNATIONAL
We are engaged in the business of conducting archaeologically sensitive recoveries of cargo and artifacts from various shipwrecks. Our operations to date have focused on shallow water search and recovery projects in less than 150 feet of water. We are now expanding our focus to include deep-water salvage of both historic and modern day shipwrecks.
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