Columbus' Santa Maria May Have Been Found off Haiti

Posted by Eric Haun
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
A replica of the Santa Maria (Library of Congress photo)

Underwater explorer Barry Clifford said he found sunken off Haiti what he thinks is the wreck of Santa Maria, Christopher Columbus’ long lost flagship from his first journey to the Americas.

Clifford, working for an operation funded by the History Channel, claims he led a team that found and investigated the wreck in the exact area where Columbus said the Santa Maria ran aground more than 500 years ago on a reef off Haiti's northern coast, 10 to 15 feet beneath the water's surface

Clifford and his team used high tech sonar scanning and metal detection devices to examine the ship’s remains. Most of the ship is intact and excavation will be possible with assistance from the Haitian government, Clifford said.

In what could be one of the most important historical discoveries in history, Clifford said he is confident the wreck is the Santa Maria. It is now up to archeologists to study the wreck to determine if it is the Santa Maria.

Clifford’s crew photographed the wreck in 2003, and those pictures, along with data gathered by computer and other recent dives, have assured Clifford that the wreck is Columbus’.

The ship is the correct size (117 feet long), Clifford said, and stones found at the wreck site that match the type in Spain where the Santa Maria was built were found at the site, CNN reported.

The Santa Maria was the largest of Columbus' small fleet that set sail from Spain in August 1492 under the sponsorship of King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I. The expedition sought a westward route from Europe to the resource-rich Far East, but instead landed in the Caribbean in October.

The Santa Maria ran aground in December off the coast of Haiti, and some of the wreck’s planks and provisions were used by fort. Columbus left much of the crew behind and sailed back to Spain in January 1493 with the two remaining ships, the Nina and the Pinta.

Clifford, who is well known for many sea discoveries, including salvaging historic pirate ships around the world, said he plans to go back to Haiti next month with authorities in hopes of determining the next steps.
 

  • Christopher Columbus on Santa Maria in 1492. EMANUEL LEUTZE - 1855

    Christopher Columbus on Santa Maria in 1492. EMANUEL LEUTZE - 1855


Salvage

Caribbean Fantasy Fire Extinguished

A fire that broke out aboard the passenger vessel Caribbean Fantasy at 7:42 a.m. on August 17 has been extinguished, and the vessel has been moored safely in port.

Passenger Vessel Allides with Pier in Baltimore

Passenger vessel Spirit of Baltimore struck the pier at Henderson Wharf Marina in Baltimore, Sunday morning, causing 60 feet of damage to the pier and cosmetic damage to the vessel’s hull.

Indian Cargo Ship Sinks Off Oman

An Indian cargo ship loaded with vehicles and food supplies destined for Yemen sank on Saturday off the coast of Oman but without loss of life, Oman’s ONA state news agency reported.

News

NASSCO Christens LNG-ready Tanker Constitution

On Saturday, August 27, shipbuilders at General Dynamics NASSCO celebrated the christening and launch of the Constitution, the sixth ship in a series of eight eco-friendly

GoM Operators Evacuating Ahead of Storm

Offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico are evacuating platforms and rigs in the path of Tropical Depression No. 9.   The Bureau of Safety and Environmental

White House Sees a Path to Approval of Pacific Trade Deal

The White House on Monday said it was hopeful it could win congressional approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact before President Barack Obama leaves office,

People in the News

Half a Century at Sea

Siegfried Schmerer already dreamed of becoming a captain as a young boy. Later, as a sailor on a coaster, he suffered from seasickness. Though he thought about giving up,

Gasum, Wärtsilä Join Forces to develop Gas Value Chain

New joint co-operation between Gasum and Wärtsilä aims to develop the utilization and distribution of natural energy gases in marine and land markets. Gasum,

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Orders Two Vessels

TUI Group, the world’s number one tourism group, will invest in two new-builds for its Hamburg-based subsidiary Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. The two, new, 5-star expedition

History

This Day In Naval History: August 29

1861 - During the Civil War, Seaman Benjamin Swearer lands with troops from the steam sloop of war, Pawnee, and takes part in the capture of Fort Clark, at Hatteras Inlet, N.

Carriers have Withdrawn Extremely Low Spot Market Freight Rates - Drewry

Drewry’s Global Freight Rate Index, a weighted average of spot container freight rates across all major routes except intra-Asia, swung back in July by 13% to reach $1,403 per 40ft box.

Damen Trading Sale hits 500th Vessel

30 years and 500 vessels later, Damen Trading is just getting started. Damen Trading’s story begins in 1986, with Damen Shipyards Group responding to growing market demand for used vessels.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1110 sec (9 req/sec)