The late Mel Fisher, one of the 20th century's best-known shipwreck salvors, is to be honored with a Key West festival that also commemorates the 23rd anniversary of his most famous find.
Mel Fisher Days is set to begin Thursday, July 17, and continue through Sunday, July 20 -- the anniversary of Fisher's discovery of the shipwrecked Spanish treasure galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha in the waters off Key West.
Fisher and his Treasure Salvors crew uncovered a huge cache of Atocha treasure and artifacts, hailed by the world press as the shipwreck find of the 20th century, in 1985 after a 16-year search.
The galleon was wrecked during a 1622 hurricane approximately 35 miles southwest of Key West.
History aficionados can view Atocha artifacts and treasures at Key West's Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, 200 Greene St., operated by the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society that Fisher established in 1982.
Objects on display include gold and silver bars and coins, rare navigational instruments, cannons and smaller weapons, religious and secular jewelry and even a 77.7-carat emerald.