250,000 in gold coins discovered among in ruins of 11 Spanish ships that sank off the Florida coast 300 years ago
By Ashley Collman DailyMail PUBLISHED: 15 July 2013
The ships were returning from Cuba when they encountered the hurricane, split apart, and sank.
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The company dives the wreckage site searching for treasure, mostly in the summer when the weather is nice.
That morning Bounds drove the boat about 200 feet off the coastline of Wabasso Beach for a regular day of treasure hunting.
‘From getting on the boat and getting ready, it’s hard work,’ Bounds told WPTV. ‘We’re out there all day, pulling ropes and diving and lifting anchors. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had in my life.’
Treasure Coast: Brisben’s crew holds the salvage rights to dive the area off Wabasso Beach – the site of 11 wrecked Spanish ships which split apart there in 1715 due to a hurricane
And most day’s their hard work doesn’t pay off.
‘You do out every day, hoping that it’s gonna happen, and a lot of times it doesn’t,’ Bounds said. ‘But when it does, it’s just amazing.’
Saturday was one of those days. Bounds dove off the boat and brought in quite a haul of gold coins.
Extraordinary: The crew finds gold coins occasionally, but usually not in such big batches. Last summer they only found seven total
1715 Queens Fleet Jewels is owned by Brent Brisben, who was there when Bounds came accross the bounty of coins.
‘To see (Bounds) come up out of the water and over the rail, I’ll never forget,’ Brisben said. ‘He waves us in, he says “I think I got one more,” and he drops about fifteen in my hand.’
Eventually Bounds would bring in 48 gold coins. Since each coin is worth about $4,000 dollars, that brings their loot up to $250,000.
Brisben told MailOnline that while they do find gold coins occasionally, they rarely find a load this big.
‘We find gold coins every year but not big piles of them. This is unusual to come up in one day.’
Jackpot: Bounds mid-dive shows off one of the gold coins, worth $4,000 each
Last summer his crew found just seven coins. The last time they found a load this big was in 2010.
The coins are in the custody of the state until Brisben’s company can work out a deal with the government. The State of Florida has a right to 20 per cent of everything they find.
‘Primarily what they take is things for their museum and their collection, once they have a representative sample of coins, they only take the really unique things,’ Brisben said.
After the deal is worked out with the state, Brisben and his crew will split the coins.
Pay day: The state of Florida owns the rights to 20 per cent of the hoard, but the rest is split up between the crew
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2364165/250-000-gold-coins-discovered-ruins-11-Spanish-ships-wrecked-Florida-coast-300-years-ago.html#ixzz2Z8yQrgWJ
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