News

Shipwreck off Haiti could be Santa Maria, explorers say

Shipwreck off Haiti could be Santa Maria, explorers say

SHIPWRECK:A replica of Christopher Columbus' caravel Santa Maria is shown in this circa 1892 handout photo provided by the United States Library of Congress on May 13. Photo: Reuters

By Zachary Fagenson

MIAMI (Reuters) – A shipwreck found off the north coast of Haiti could be the 500-year-old remains of the Santa Maria, which led Christopher Columbus’s famed voyage to the New World, according to a team of marine explorers.

“All the geographical, underwater topography and archaeological evidence strongly suggests that this wreck is Columbus’ famous flagship, the Santa Maria,” Massachusetts marine investigator Barry Clifford said in a press release on Tuesday.

“I am confident that a full excavation of the wreck will yield the first-ever detailed marine archaeological evidence of Columbus’ discovery of America,” he added.

Clifford, who led a reconnaissance expedition to the site, will hold a press conference Wednesday morning at the Explorer’s Club in New York City to announce the discovery.

The Santa Maria was one of a fleet of three vessels that departed Spain in 1492 looking for a shorter route to Asia. The ship, after arriving near the Bahamas, drifted into a reef and had to be abandoned. Columbus ordered sailors to build a fort nearby before taking the remaining two ships back to Spain to report his findings.

Clifford and his team first discovered the wreck in 2003, but were unable to identify the ship. Yet the discovery of Columbus’ encampment on nearby Haiti and data from the explorer’s diary appear to prove the heavily decayed vessel on the sea floor was the Santa Maria.

(Editing by David Adams and James Dalgleish)

Recent Headlines

in National, World

Shrinking U.S. trade gap shows economy’s underlying strength

Fresh
trade

The U.S. trade deficit fell in July to its lowest level in five months as exports rose broadly, signaling underlying strength in the economy amid concerns about a global growth slowdown.

in Entertainment

Chris Evans makes ‘Marvel’-ous directoral debut

Fresh
17-overlay6

The "Before We Go" director talks about pulling his film together and how being in the Marvel world makes it easier to get movies off the ground.

in National

Kentucky clerk jailed for denying same-sex marriage licenses

Updated
20-overlay2

The clerk has refused to issue licenses to any couples, gay or straight, since the U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry under the U.S. Constitution, citing her beliefs as an Apostolic Christian.