Nicole hit where another hurricane, in 1715, sank a Spanish fleet with a treasure: a story that continues

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The cyclone made landfall in Vero Beach, in an area known as the Treasure Coast, named after the wreck of 11 Spanish ships. Lost 18th century coins are still being discovered there even today

Nicole landed where another hurricane, in 1715, sank a Spanish fleet with a treasure: a story that continues

William Trotter's work reconstructs the sinking of La Urca de Lima, one of the ships of the Spanish fleet, in 1715.

The name Treasure Coast or Costa Del Tesoro, a segment of Florida's Atlantic beaches that includes Indian River, Martin and St. Lucie counties, has resonated in recent hours. It was there, near Vero Beach, that Hurricane Nicole made landfall in the United States., at 3:00 AM on Thursday, November 10. And right there, in 1715, another hurricane hit 12 Spanish ships, 11 of which ended up sunk, with their riches on board. The episode gave this tri-county area its name.

The Treasure Fleet of 1715 was actually a combination of two Spanish fleets returning from the New World to Spain: the New Spain Fleet, under the command of Captain General Don Juan Esteban de Ubilla, and the Tierra Firme Fleet, under the command of Don Antonio de Echeverz y Zubiza.

Nicole landed where another hurricane, in 1715, sank a Spanish fleet with a treasure: a story that continues

Nicole made landfall on the Treasure Coast, which owes its name to the sinking of a Spanish fleet, by another hurricane, in 1715. (REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo)

Also known as the Fleet of Silver from 1715, due to the large amount of this precious metal it was carrying, had sailed from Havana seven days earlier when, on the morning of Wednesday, July 31, 11 ships of its ships They succumbed to a hurricane. Only the 12th ship, the French frigate Le Grifon, which had sailed with them, survived. Your captain was unfamiliar with the coast of Floridaand preferred to stay out to sea. Le Grifon managed to return safely to Europe.

With the ships she lost a fortune in silver coins, gold coins, treasures and objects. This caused a frenzy over the years for treasure hunters seeking to find and claim it. 18th century pirates, privateers and looters converged on what is now known as the Treasure Coast.

Nicole landed where another hurricane, in 1715, sank a Spanish fleet with a treasure: a story that continues

The Treasure Coast is a segment of Florida's Atlantic beaches that encompasses Indian River, Martin, and St. Lucie counties.

The Spanish abandoned the salvage camp in 1718, despite leaving behind untold riches. However, with time and ever more modern technologies, hunters would find much more than they bargained for. Divers have been combing this area since the 1960s and continue to this day.

Mel Fisher, who discovered the treasure of the Spanish galleon < b>Nuestra Señora de la Atocha in the Florida Keys, valued at $450 million, sold the rights to the Silver Fleet shipwreck to Brent Brisben, of Queens Jewels, LLC. This turned out to be a good investment for Brisben, who discovered $4.5 million worth of gold coins off the coast of Vero Beach in 2015. The coins came from the site of the 1715 Fleet shipwreck known as Corrigans Wreck.

Nicole landed where another hurricane, in 1715, sank a Spanish fleet with a treasure: a story that continues

The Spanish abandoned the salvage camp in 1718, despite leaving behind priceless treasure. (Augi Garcia for Daniel Frank Sediwck, LLC Treasure Auction #4, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Today people can visit the site of the Survivors and Saviors Camp near the The McLarty Treasure Museum, as well as several collections of treasures displayed in museums across the state.

Vero Beach is just over a two-hour drive from Miami. With a bit of luck, you may even be one of the lucky ones who, just walking down the beach after a storm, finds a gold coin sparkling in the sun. Believe it or not, it's much more common than you think.

Nicole landed where another hurricane, in 1715, sank a Spanish Fleet with Treasure: A Story That Continues

Brent Brisben discovered $4.5 million in gold coins off the coast of Vero Beach. (Augi Garcia for Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC Auction Treasure #4 Nov. 2008, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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