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

Maritime Reporter August 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

News

China Passes New Pollution Law, Will Cap Coal Consumption

Legislators have approved amendments to China's 15-year-old air pollution law that grant the state new powers to punish offenders and create a legal framework to cap coal consumption,

Marad Celebrates Deployment of Maritime Fuel Cell Project

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) today celebrated the launch of field trials for the first prototype hydrogen fuel cell

Gazprom, OMV Meet on Establishing Nord Stream JV

At a Meeting held at the Gazprom headquarters between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Company's Management Committee and Rainer Seele, Chairman of the Executive Board of OMV,

People in the News

Man Earns Jail Time for Hoax Coast Guard Calls

A man found guilty of making numerous hoax calls to the U.K. Coastguard has been jailed for four months, the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) reported.

The Maritime Person of the Year

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s annual salute to ‘the person of the year’ this year spotlights McAllister Towing and Transportation Co. and its leadership team.

Migrant Boat Sinks off Libya; 200 Feared Dead

A boat packed with mainly African migrants bound for Italy sank off the Libyan coast on Thursday and officials said up to 200 might have died. A security official in the western town of Zuwara,

History

China Passes New Pollution Law, Will Cap Coal Consumption

Legislators have approved amendments to China's 15-year-old air pollution law that grant the state new powers to punish offenders and create a legal framework to cap coal consumption,

Break Bulk in Rotterdam on the Way Up

The opening of a new break bulk terminal is one of the many developments and investments in the break bulk sector in the port of Rotterdam; a sector that has

HPA Clarifies Stand on Industrial Dispute, Communications to Staff

Hutchison Ports Australia (HPA) says it remains committed to negotiating a resolution to the current industrial dispute with workers in Brisbane and Sydney. HPA

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Winch
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: 0.1817 sec (6 req/sec)