Maritime explorers discover 16th cent. shipwrecks at Florida’s shore

Waters around Cape Canaveral in Florida, USA, revealed three shipwrecks of Spanish ships yielding numerous interesting artefacts, as underwater explorers surveyed the area. The finds made by the Global Marine Exploration company  include cannons and a marble monument in the shape of a coat of arms set atop a pillar.

One of the finds off Cape Canaveral (by Global Marine Exploration)
One of the finds off Cape Canaveral (by Global Marine Exploration)

The marble monument is engraved with the coat of arms of the king of France. It was identified through a ship’s manifest dated to 1562 for the expedition to Florida by Jean Ribault, a French navigator and colonialist. Among the discoveries were 22 canons, which include three ornate bronze ones, of which two are 3 metres and one 2 metres long. The markings on one of the cannons indicates its casting in 1540, during King Henry II of France’s reign. The divers also found 12 anchors, a stone grinding wheel, and scattered ballast and ammunition from the ships.

One of the finds off Cape Canaveral (by Global Marine Exploration)
One of the finds off Cape Canaveral (by Global Marine Exploration)

The area where the discovery was made is in shallow waters measuring from 4.5 to 8 metres. The items are covered by sand, reaching even up to 2.5 metres. The are of scattering on the sea floor is 6 kilometres long and nearly 1 kilometre wide. The explorers were also able to determine that the monument and the cannons were installed at Fort Caroline (now Jacksonville), an early French Huguenot colony on the St. Johns River, but were seized in a Spanish raid in 1565. The Spanish ships probably sunk while carrying the objects as booty, possibly on route for Havana on Cuba.

One of the finds off Cape Canaveral (by Global Marine Exploration)
One of the finds off Cape Canaveral (by Global Marine Exploration)

Except these historic finds the explorers were also able to find numerous debris connected to rocket launches from Cape Canaveral. Among these finds were rocket engines and rocket tubes used in test flights.

(after Live Science)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *