Divers find 'oldest shipwreck in the Caribbean'

Buried treasure: Silver coins worth millions, ancient Mayan jewellery and a mirrored object possibly for a Shamanic ritual were all found on the wreck


By Amy Oliver - Daily Mail


A chance encounter with a fisherman has led one team of treasure hunters to discover what they believe is the oldest shipwreck in the Caribbean.

And after only diving the site - located off the Dominican Republic coast - a handful of times, the team at Deep Blue Marine has unearthed some serious treasure.

At the last count Captain Billy Rawson and his crew had uncovered 700 silver coins that could be worth millions, jade figurines and even a mirrored stone that was possibly used in Shamanic rituals.

Everything was in pretty good condition, despite dating back to the 1500s.

'We only started diving last autumn and haven't gone down that much because it's been the winter,' said Randy Champion, vice president of the Utah-based company.

'We have just scratched the surface,' he added. 'All of the stuff we've found is just from mucking about really.'

Although the team haven't officially confirmed which ship they are diving, Mr Champion said they had a pretty fair idea - but were keeping quiet for now.

'If it's the ship we think it is, she probably went down in a hurricane,' Mr Champion said.

'We have looked at the prevailing currents and wind directions in archives and found a cannon and ballast stone on the wreck that was all going in the wrong direction.

'That suggests it was probably a hurricane as winds go counter clockwise.'

The Blue Water Marine team believe this ship was heading back to Spain with a haul of newly minted coins.


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