1733 Spanish Treasure Fleet

On Friday the 13th, in July of 1733, the Nueva Espana fleet of treasure ships left Havana on its return voyage to Spain. The departure date of Friday the 13th proved to be quite unlucky for this fleet of four armed galleons, eighteen merchant naos, and various smaller ships carrying the treasures of the New World back to the seat of the Spanish Empire. A hurricane struck the next day after the ships had sighted the Florida Keys. Only one ship escaped safely back to Havana, and the others were scattered andwrecked along the Upper Florida Keys.

The Spanish authorities salvaged what treasure they could over the next few years. Then these shipwrecks were forgotten until the 20th century. Modern day salvors relocated and worked most of the remaining wrecks of the 1733 fleet. Today many thousands of artifacts and coins have been recovered from these ships. The artifacts now educate us about the hardships that this fleet endured during their attempt to return to Spain.

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