For many people who have never been diving or even given it a thought, will at some point in their life either as a child or as a dream as an adult will have thought of finding pirate treasure. The down side to this is two thirds of the planet is underwater. Pirates never buried treasure on desert islands or marked the spot with an X. They took the gold and spent it on having a good time until the money ran out and went pirating again. All the big money was on board huge treasure ships that were transporting gold to and from new lands back to Europe or to pay armies fighting over the new lands. Many of these ships were sunk in storms after being blown onto rocks an reefs. Rocks and reefs are in shallow water. If the rocks and reefs were in deep water they will be no threat to ships. The up shot to this is most of the ships were wrecked in shallow water within easy reach of the average recreational diver.
Next time you are in phuket thailand
why not give it a go. Its a perfect place to learn. Warm tropical water, loads of reefs and variety of fish. When in phuket scuba diving
is a must. You may just get hooked and you never know what may happen...
It is three hundred years since a fleet of Spanish galleons, loaded with New World gold, set sail from Havana under the careful watch of British spies. They never arrived. A vicious storm sent 11 treasure ships to the floor of the Atlantic off Florida. Now though they are giving up their booty.
The Schmitt family - Rick and Lisa and their two children and daughter-in-law - who scour the seas for treasure from their salvage vessel Aarrr Booty, found 51 gold coins and 40 feet of ornate gold chain.
The pick of the finds, according to Brent Brisben, whose company 1715 Fleet – Queens Jewels owns salvage rights to the wreckage, is a rare coin known as a “royal” made for King Phillip V and dated 1715.
Only six others are known to exist and it could be worth $500,000 alone. Eric Schmitt, 27, made the find last month in 15 feet of water while diving using a metal detector. Their discovery was announced to coincide with the anniversary of the disaster in July 1715 when all but one of the ships foundered.
They had left Havana under the careful eye of British spies who dotted the Caribbean. They believed the cargo included a priceless dowry of jewels for King Phillip V to give to his new bride. The ships were crammed with the king's tribute, including gold chains which were used as a tax-free currency. The War of Succession meant there had been no sailings for the preceding two years. “By late advices from Havana I am told the Galleons from Vera Cruz were daily expected there in order to join the Spanish Ships of War, one of which was the Hampton Court, who are said to have great treasure on board for Old Spain,” said a dispatch from Lord Archibald Hamilton, the Governor of Jamaica, referencing a British war ship captured by the Spanish. But within days the fleet was in trouble, pummelled by storms that gusted at 100 knots, pushing the ships westwards and on to rocks.
The convoy's manifests showed its cargo of gold and jewels would today be worth about $400 million, of which $175 million has so far been recovered, according to Mr Brisben. The wreckage was first discovered in the 1960s but stormy seas limit treasure hunters to only a few weeks each year.
The laws vary from country to country and wreck to wreck as to who the treasure belongs to. In this case it was split was 20% to the Florida musem and the rest split between the finders and the financiers who bought the rights to the wreck. So a very nice little earner.
This is just one of many. Off Cornwall in England in 2007 another wreck was found in a few meters of water in a bay of a popular holiday resort. The wreck had an estimated US $500 million on board. 17 tonnes of coin has been recovered. How many holiday makers were swimming, surfing and fishing on top of all that gold and silver with no idea it was there. If they had learned to scuba dive they just may have found it.
Next time you are on your holiday, take a look at phuket thailand
. The location, price and conditions are perfect for learning to dive. The dive centers offer great prices and even if you dont discover several tonnes of gold you will discover a whole new world. Every dive you do after that you will discover something new as long as you keep your eyes open. You can always when diving in phuke
t do a search and recovery course to teach you how to recover things off the sea bed just in case. Next time you want to change your life come to phuket scuba diving
. its just may change you life forever.