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stepping stones of maritime history


The San Pedro was a Dutch-built wooden sailing ship, part of a Spanish fleet that was en route from Havana, Cuba to Spain when it was swept away by a hurricane in the summer of 1733. Practically all ships foundered in that storm.


As stated on the website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the wreck of the San Pedro was found in the 1960s in 5.5 metres of water, some 2.32 km off Indian Key, Florida. The site is marked by a large pile of ballast which used to be stored in the lower holds of the ship for the sake of stability.

All perishable materials that remained above the sand were gone when underwater archaeologists visited the site, though underneath the sand, parts of the wreck remain. It was noted that the site had been heavily looted by treasure hunters in the past. Silver coins found between the rubble dated from 1731 to 1733 support the date of shipwreck. Even red ladrillo bricks from the galley were found among the ballast.

Nowadays, the site is stable and is in equilibrium with its surroundings.

Modern replicas of cannons and a bronze commemorative plaque now decorate the site, as the site is a State of Florida Underwater Archaeological Preserve since 1989. As part of a shipwreck trail, divers can freely enter the site and personally experience this underwater cultural heritage site.


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