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 Lifestyle

RECALL ROUNDUP: Cars, poultry top the list

Fresh
honda

Get a look at some of the products that have been recalled this month.

in Sports

NBA: Top players, plays of the season

Fresh
20-overlay6

A look at some of the most memorable moments of the regular season.

in National

Egg prices jump as impact of bird flu begins pinching supply

Fresh
eggs

The price of eggs has risen by as much as 58 percent, as farmers battle a bird flu that has killed millions of hens.