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TOPIC: The 1715 Plate Fleet Story

The 1715 Plate Fleet Story 3 years 4 months ago #2025

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Many know the story of the 1715 Plate Fleet but for those that do not...

On July 31, 1715 11 of the 12 ships of the combined armadas of General Don Juan Esteban de Ubilla and General Don Antonio de Echeverz y Zubiza sailing from Havana to Spain were wrecked upon the reefs of Florida from St. Lucie to Cape Canaveral by a horrific hurricane. 6 of these ships of the Treasure Fleet have been found scattered over the reefs between south of Ft. Pierce and Sebastian inlet giving this area its name of the Treasure Coast.

Kip Wagner heard of the Treasure Coins being found on the beach in the late 40’s and started to find them himself in the 50’s. This can still be done today after a strong Nor’Easter. Pursuing the source of these coins Wagner formed a salvage team in 1961 called Real Eight, derived from an old Spanish term ocho reales meaning pieces of eight, which are what the silver coins of the era are commonly called. Real Eight located concentrations of shipwreck materials and began one of the most spectacular and successful salvage operations in history.

Mel Fisher famous for the discovery of the Atocha shipwreck off of Key West, FL took over as the lease ownership of the 1715 Fleet plus other wrecks from North of Sebastian to South of Ft. Pierce, FL a distance of over 50 miles!

The ongoing recovery process has yielded millions in gold, silver and artifacts for over 49 years!
Last Edit: 3 years 4 months ago by Au_Dreamers. Reason: clarification
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Re: The Story 3 years 4 months ago #2026

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These are the ships that make up the 1715 plate (plata) fleet. No one is 100% sure that the name of the ship at the location identified is indeed the ship identified. Much of this is guess work based on extrapolated data from survivor reports, and from matching artifacts recovered with the ships manifest.
You will note that this list only has 11 ships listed, while AU Dreamers stated that 12 ships sailed as part of the fleet. A French ship, The Griffon survived by sailing ahead of the fleet as the storm began to appear on the horizon.


Nueva Espana Fleet
General Don Juan de Ubilla

Nuestra Senora de la Regla aka Cabin Wreck, located 2 Miles South of Sebastian inlet

Urca de Lima aka Santissima Trinidad aka Wedge Wreck, located 1.5 Miles North of Ft. Pierce inlet

Nuestra Senora de las Nieves aka Colored Beach Wreck, located 2.5 Miles South of Ft. Pierce inlet, 700 yards off the beach

Maria Galante NEVER FOUND

Santo Cristo de San Roman aka Corrigan's Wreck, located Just South of Wabasso beach



Galeones de Tierra Firma
General Don Antonio de Echeverz

Nuestra Senora del Carmen aka Rio Mar Wreck, located 900 feet off the first green Rio Mar Golf Course

Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion NEVER FOUND, South of Cape Canaveral

El Senor San Miguel NEVER FOUND, no survivors

La Olandesa aka San Miguel between Rio Mar and Sandy Point

El Cievro aka La Galleria NEVER FOUND

Nuestra Senora del Rosario aka Sandy Point Wreck, located 500 feet off shore at Sandy Point
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
Last Edit: 3 years 4 months ago by wreckdiver.
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Re: The Story 3 years 1 month ago #2823

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I find the 1715 Plate Fleet history very interesting and was curious as to where you find the ship manifest when trying to match up recovered items? Also does anyone know if the ships found have been plotted on a map and a guess-timate of where the other ships not found may be? (such as accounts as to the order in which the ships sailed) I'm sure someone has done this and just wondering if there is documentation of where searches have been done.....
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Re: The Story 3 years 1 month ago #2841

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Wow suprised with todays technology that so many ships from this fleet never proved to be found I wouldnt doubt these ships maybe buried under 20+ feet of sand
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Re: The 1715 Plate Fleet Story 3 years 1 month ago #2876

The reale 8 group got copies of the manifest from the archives in Spain back in the 60's. I have seen some books that were published back then with partial list. Im sure someone has the complete list.
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To bag a bug in total darkness . . . . is just the next step.
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Re: The 1715 Plate Fleet Story 3 years 1 month ago #2886

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Really had no idea where to even to begin to look for something that old.... Wasn't even sure if any records were kept back then or had survived after the ship went missing....
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Re: The 1715 Plate Fleet Story 3 years 1 month ago #2887

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The Spanish kept very good records of the treasure fleets before they left Cuba and then they forwarded them to Spain in the archives de sevilla. These records are still kept there today.
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: The 1715 Plate Fleet Story 3 years 1 month ago #2888

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Well going off to Spain to search through archives would be an endeavor in of itself.... I did locate a map of the sunken ships off the treasure coast and the manifests of those ships already located. But nothing found via google searches on the manifests of the unknown ships.
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Re: The 1715 Plate Fleet Story 3 years 1 month ago #2930

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Well, this weekend marks the 297th Anniversary of the loss of the 1715 Fleet along the Space and Treasure Coast. Any of you shipwreck hunters and salvers doing anything in commemoration?
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: The 1715 Plate Fleet Story 3 years 1 month ago #2932

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My birthday is July 29 so I always have a reminder of the upcoming historical event. Usually nothing fancy, a moment of reflection while touching a piece of history.

When I was in Florida there was a goal to find something to bring back "into the world" so that it could be enjoyed as perhaps the previous owner did. Then a rum or two with some fellow treasure hunters, some who's birthday also falls near the events of the 1715 fleet.

-Cheers
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Re: The 1715 Plate Fleet Story 3 years 1 month ago #2933

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Happy Birthday Au_Dreamers! another question is... Who will be the next to discover one of the 5 still missing ships that were lost that day?
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: The 1715 Plate Fleet Story 3 years 1 month ago #2935

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Why thank-you WD!!

That is a very good question. Sometimes the news of "1715" finds and happenings travel fast other times for those of us on dirt it is painstakingly SLOW!

I haven’t heard much recently about operations looking for those ships. Of course knowing first hand about wreck pirates I can understand why to a degree.

Then you have to sift the fact from the fiction!
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Re: The 1715 Plate Fleet Story 3 years 1 month ago #2941

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Could it be that the other five ships have sunk in deeper water and covered in many feet of sand.
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Re: The 1715 Plate Fleet Story 3 years 1 month ago #2944

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Now again since it is the internet- I write this not as a smart alec reply...

Those 5 ships could almost be anywhere. What it will take is conventional searching – magnetometer surveys of the coastal areas. Then follow up verification and surveys of targets.

5 people can read the archival papers and conclude 6 or more different opinions.

There are many questions of what ship wrecked where that are not 100% answered even within the known wreck sites.

I do not mean this as an insult to anyone but all the conjectures in the world aren’t going to solve the “mysteries” of the 1715 Fleet. It is going to take lots of time on and in the waters of coastal Florida to solve them.
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Re: The 1715 Plate Fleet Story 3 years 1 month ago #2945

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I agree with you AU to go on people's accounts in 1715 is a small part of the research and investigation. I know if I was on one of those treasure ships last thing I would be worried about in hurricane is my ship and my life of surviving on where other treasure ships are heading. Plus no way of seeing in hurricane when you are being thrown around of what ship is what and who is who. How much are the permits and how much area are you given in the permit to search. Do you know the time length of the permit. I still believe that those ships are in deeper water.
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Re: The 1715 Plate Fleet Story 3 years 1 month ago #2949

As I understand it, most of the treasure was carried on the ships of the New Spain fleet commanded by general Ubilla. All those ships have been found already except for Ubillas private ship that was carrying only tobacco, and was believed to have gone down in deep water with no survivors.
Of the ships in general Echeverez's fleet, the only ship with treasure aboard and not yet located was the Concepcion that also went down in deep water south of Cape Canaveral and with only three survivors.
I would say that the Concepcion is the ship that needs to be hunted for.
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To bag a bug in total darkness . . . . is just the next step.
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Re: The 1715 Plate Fleet Story 3 years 1 month ago #2950

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Blackbeard, to search within the 1715 lease sites of Queen Jewels LLC (formerly "The Fisher family") it will cost you $1,000 USD.

To search outside of those leases you have to deal with other lease holders or the State of Florida. Time change as one point in time I was told all of Florida is covered by someone's lease. The "known" 1715 sites get most of the press while the other areas get very little.

I would guess finding out from the state of Florida what current leases are where would be a start. If an area of interest is covered you could always check and see if the lease holder would allow sub-contracting. If it's an open area then application to the state for a search/survey permit/lease would be a start. From recent readings online it looks as if there is now 3 year search permit. Each lease could have its own parameters though.
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Re: The 1715 Plate Fleet Story 3 years 1 month ago #2951

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You are basically correct LopsterPirate. However, some believe that the Concepcion was discovered a couple of years back by Rex Stocker’s group. They are yet to offer any definitive proof that they have even found a ship yet, other than a flint lock pistol and a handful of other artifacts.
Last word I heard, and this was some time back now, was that they were in a legal battle with some of the partners, and all work was halted until the issues were resolved.
The alleged location is near the NASA tracking camera just south of Melbourne Beach.
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: The 1715 Plate Fleet Story 3 years 1 month ago #2952

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Blackbeard, I had heard that the 1715 sub lease contracts of Queens Jewels LLC were still running about 1K, the same price as when the Fishers owned the leases. I don’t know if the contract is the same, but I had a couple of issues with the Fisher Contract. There was a clause that basically said that if you were a subcontractor, and you found a wreck outside of the lease, that it would be the Fisher groups find, not yours. I hope the new guy has dropped that clause from the contract.
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: The 1715 Plate Fleet Story 3 years 1 month ago #2958

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Thank you guys for the input very much appreciated I have a good funny story when I was 12 years old my parents took me to the site and I metal detected the area just dreaming a spanish treasure coin about a hour into the search i got a hit man I was excited and I used my scoop to dig and dig and I attached what I got and still have it today. I thought I had a cobb or Reale I was 12 years old and at a treasure site. Attached is my coin lmaoooo This image is hidden for guests. Please log in or register to see it.
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