Brevard County Shipwreck
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  1. #1
    Charter Member
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    Pirate of the Ays

    May 2004
    Satellite Beach
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    Brevard County Shipwreck

    A flintlock pistol, a sword and a cannon possibly used by ancient mariners are making history teacher Tom Funk and his fellow ocean explorers eager for next year's diving season to arrive.

    They found the weapons in late August from a shipwreck about a half-mile off Melbourne Beach, north of the Sebastian Inlet, and plan to search the wreck more when diving conditions are at their best, usually about late May to October.

    Funk and his partners hope the wreck is from the famed 1715 Spanish Silver Plate Fleet. The fleet of 11 galleons set sail from Havana in 1715 laden with jewels, gold and silver, but ran into a hurricane along Florida's east coast.

    "Ten of the 11 ships were destroyed," said Funk, an archaeologist who teaches history at Satellite High School, in Satellite Beach. "Seven have more or less been found."

    The shipwreck sites include spots near Fort Pierce and Sebastian, and the ships' high-value cargo gave the Treasure Coast its name. For the past decade, Funk and his partners have been surveying, exploring and researching what might be another of the treasure ships, in 43 feet of water off Melbourne Beach.

    While exploring the wreck in late August, they found several artifacts that boosted their hopes.

    "Our artifact collection is pretty interesting," Funk said. "We have enough artifacts, I think, to show what period they belong to."

    There's the intact, silver-handled pistol and what appears to be a boarding sword, which has a curved blade and was known to be used by fighting mariners. The collection also includes some cannon balls, pewter plates and a stack of silver platters, which Funk said are beautifully embossed.

    "They look like a big turkey platter," he said. "We're sending (the collection) to a conservation lab for more study."

    In the meantime, Funk and his partners will work on renewing the salvaging permits they need from various state agencies, such as the state Division of Historical Resources. Permitted salvagers can end up owning items they find, but 20 percent of the value of found treasure goes to the state.

    The dive site worked by Funk's team stretches diagonally for perhaps a mile. The team includes members of Heartland Treasure Quest, from Georgia and Florida; Amelia Research Co., of Amelia Island; and Florida Research and Recovery, a group of investors primarily from Georgia.

    A principle of Heartland Treasure Quest is Sebastian resident Rex Stocker, who was a member of the Real Eight Co. The Real Eight Co. worked with the famed Mel Fisher's Treasure Salvors Inc. in the 1960s to recover millions of dollars worth of treasure from the 1715 Fleet shipwrecks.

    Taffi Fisher Abt, Fisher's daughter and the director of Mel Fisher's Treasure Museum in Sebastian, said she's interested to hear more about the items found by Funk and his partners.

    "It's quite possible this wreck is one of the 1715 Fleet," she said. "I have not seen any of these artifacts, and I haven't seen their log sheets, so I don't know for sure."


  2. #2
    desertdiver

    Oct 2005
    Sat beach Fl.
    22

    Re: Brevard County Shipwreck

    WD1715
    so what do you think about this?
    I didnt know we had a season here.
    seagreen12
    sends

  3. #3
    Charter Member
    us
    Pirate of the Ays

    May 2004
    Satellite Beach
    Minelab Excal 1000
    1,721
    145 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Brevard County Shipwreck

    Seagreen, how goes it on that side of the planet today? I think that it?s a very interesting discovery, and I?m excited for them. I hope that it is indeed one of the five still missing ships of the 1715 fleet. However, these few artifacts don?t necessarily mean that you have a shipwreck. It does mean you may be pretty close. I have been to the site, and I would be concerned, since the location I saw them working is very close to the northern boundary of the Fishers exploration lease. That would suck for them if the main wreck is on the other side of that line.
    As for the dive season close in to shore along the coast. Well, basically that starts in about March - April time frame and ends about this time of year. That is the time of year that we have the best dive conditions, i.e., low wave action and relatively good vis. Of course this is Florida, so you can dive all year round. However, from a treasure hunter perspective, in the off season it usually becomes less than cost effective to conduct search and recovery operations.

 

 

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