In the early morning hours of July 31, 1715, one of the richest Spanish treasure fleets ever assembled was in trouble. Carrying a fortune in gold, silver, and jewels from Spain's New World empire, the Fleet tried to outrun an ominous storm pursuing it up the Florida Straits. The bulky treasure-laden galleons were not fast enough. By 2:00 am, 100-mile-per-hour winds, torrential rains, and mountainous waves broke over the Fleet. Eleven of the twelve ships in the Fleet were lost, either capsizing in deep water or tossed upon the reefs and sandy shores of the Florida coast. More than a thousand men and women, crew, and passengers perished from the hurricane's fury. It was one of the worst maritime disasters of all time.
Join Ben Costello as he discusses the aftermath of this great sea tragedy and how the Fleet was lost to history for 240 years. Costello will display actual coins and artifacts recovered from the 1715 Fleet during the program. A retired attorney with a passion for sunken treasure and recovery, Ben Costello is President of the 1715 Fleet Society, Inc., a 501 c (3) nonprofit organization involved in archival research and the hunt for the remains of the Fleet. He has written many articles on the 1715 Fleet and co-authored a book on treasures recovered from the Lost Fleet. He resides with his wife in Venetia. Registration is required.