Metal Detecting the 1715 Treasure Fleet
Review and Download the Complete
(Rev: "K" 86 Pages) Updated: July 31, 2014
Disclaimer: The sources for this 1715
Fleet information package is derived from personal knowledge, websites and
various books. In some cases the information found has required the author
to interpret or make a value judgment on the validity of the material so
there may be errors or disconnects in the article's material. It is
suggested that this material should be considered as a reference guide only
and the best avenue to follow is to seek a second source for this
information. So take the time and do your own independent research on the
The article is written for detectorist that live in the other 49 states in
the U.S. since those living in Florida are already very well educated on the
1715 Fleet accessibility. The Florida Treasure Coast is well published with
many sources available such as: 1715 only websites and shipwreck books
detailing the Fleet's history, the destruction of the Fleet and the treasure
lost / salvaged. So a detailed 1715 Fleet history will not be part of this
As someone that lives outside of the state of Florida, knowing where the
1715 Fleet is located and how to access it can be of great help to any
detectorist before going on a metal detecting trip to Florida. The wreck
site detail found in the next 38 pages will provide the detectorists with
the necessary information to try their detecting skill on the Treasure Coast
beaches. Knowing in advance where the fleet is located, finding access
points and knowing where to detect can be a great advantage to an outsider.
Therefore, the article will be rather short with a greater emphasis placed
on providing individual wreck site diagrams or maps. These diagrams will
include the GPS coordinates for the wreck site lease area, A1A access point
to the wreck site and other identifying land marks associated with the site.
A single Florida A1A Highway diagram or map line with a summary of
individual GPS beach access points and GPS wreck location coordinates is
also included. Again, each of the individual diagrams or maps provide GPS
Latitude and Longitude coordinates for easy identification.
A GPS that uses Latitude and Longitude coordinates is a requirement for
using the information provided in this article. By using the GPS coordinates
one can start either from the most North position or South position of the
wreck site list. Just input the given coordinates in to a GPS, which in turn
will create a very detailed Plot or Navigation route to follow. Therefore,
by using the GPS coordinates you can travel the complete 1715 Treasure Coast
area and be informed by your GPS's alert system as you approach a wreck site
or an access point to a wreck site. No longer is there a need to trace
mileage from a given point to a wreck site location.
There are a number of other wreck sites listed in the article that are not
part of the 1715 Fleet but may have carried Spanish Treasure and wrecked at
a much earlier date than1715. There are also wreck sites that are much newer
and have very little or no treasure content but in the past have been
identified as part of the Treasure Coast in various publications. So for
clarity and consistency they are also listed in this article and on the
maps. Sometimes you may find GPS coordinates for these wreck sites along
with other wreck site information.
Following is a very short description of the 1715 Fleet with links to a
number of websites that can provide the reader with much more detail on the
fleet's creation, its journey and finally its destruction by the 1715
hurricane. If you're interested in Fleet detail take a look at these
websites, since this article is primarily focused on providing the metal detectorist with the necessary information to get to a beach area adjacent
to the actual wreck sites.
1715 Fleet Background:
On July 31, 1715
eleven of the twelve Spanish ships sailing from Havana to Spain were wrecked
by a violent hurricane on the east coast of Florida from St. Lucie to Cape
Canaveral. Seven of these Spanish Treasure laden ships were scattered over
the reefs from South of Fort Pierce to the Sebastian Inlet. Thus, this part
of Florida's Atlantic east coast is known as the famous Treasure Coast.
1715 Fleet Ships Believed to have been Found are:
1 - Nuestra Senora de la Regla - Cabin Wreck Site
2 - Santo Cristo de San Roman - Corrigan's Wreck Site
3 - Nuestra Senora del Carmen - Rio Mar Wreck Site
4 - Nuestra Señora de La Popa - La Holandesa Wreck Site
5 - Nuestra Senora del Rosario - Sandy Point Wreck Site
6 - Urca de Lima - Wedge Wreck Site - Note: This is a State Archaeology Site
7 - Nuestra Senora de las Nieves - Douglas Beach Wreck or Gold Wreck or
Colored Beach Site
Ships of the 1715 Fleet Never Located are the:
8 - Maria Galante
9 - El Senor San Miguel a 22 cannon frigate
10 - El Cievro
11 - Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion
12 - Griffon made it safely and went on to France
Spanish coins of all types (Gold and Silver) started to be found on the
beaches in the 1950s after strong Nor'easters or a violent hurricane. This
lead to key individuals to research as to how and where these coins came
about being on the East coast Florida beaches. The research resulted in early
development (1960) of salvage teams and the search for Spanish Treasure
begins in earnest. It has been over 50 years and the search continues.
Website Links to the 1715 Fleet History:
Mel Fishers 1715 Fleet History
We have Pirate Treasure on our beaches
Camp Site of the 1715 Plate Fleet Wreck
Underwater Archaeological Preserve Fort Pierce
Metal Detecting the Wreck Sites
A Very Brief Florida State Law Overview:
You are allowed to hunt the beaches from the foot of the Dune to the low
tide line and that includes the beaches adjacent to the 1715 Fleet of
Inside State parks you are required to get written permission from the Park
Ranger before you detect in the park. Some State Parks will allow metal
detectors in the park.
Do not bring your metal detector into a National Park in Florida, this
includes all beaches and waters adjacent to the National Park.
In June 2005, the state of Florida did away with the Isolated Finds Program.
The Isolated Finds Program provided the treasure hunter with the ability to
keep a find as long as the state was provided with the location of the find.
Now, it is against the law to recover and retain anything in state waters
greater than 50 years old.
You can dive on Treasure Coast wrecks, however, you must NOT have a metal
detector in the ocean lease site, and you must stay 300 feet away from dive
boats that are working the lease area. Do NOT bring a metal detector within
the 3,000 yard radius lease area while in the water. Check the GPS
coordinates listed in this article for the various site leases. It is very
wise to do your own research from a second or third source before visiting a
wreck site to validate the GPS coordinates and restrictions for the site.
How and Where to Metal Detect a Wreck Site:
There have been very rare incidences of a detectorist walking out onto one
of the Treasure Coast Beaches and finding treasure. However, having said
that the best time to metal detect these beaches is during or directly after
a strong Nor'easter or hurricane.
The best surf situation is to have a strong Nor'easter (swell) that hits the
beach at high tide (four plus feet). The swell should have a very short
period between swell crest (6-8 seconds). This strong surf with a high tide
sets up the situation for maximum erosion to take place at the foot of the
dunes and on the beach itself. These swells with a high tide can cause large
and deep cuts to take place and expose the old dune sand and old beach area.
It is wise to metal detect the high tide line area of the beach near the
dunes right after a high surf and tide situation.
Check the following National Buoy Data for Ocean
Swell Conditions and Tide Predictions
- St. Augustine, FL
- Canaveral East 120NM
- Cape Canaveral Near shore, FL (143)
- Fort Pierce, FL (134)
- Settlement Point, GBI
- 8722670 - Lake Worth, FL
Florida Tide Prediction
Another good situation for metal detecting is if a hurricane hits the East
Coast of Florida. Hurricanes can cause very deep cuts to take place.
Sometimes these cuts can be five to ten foot or greater - 2004 was such a
After the high surf has settled down which may take a couple of days
(whether its a Hurricane or a Nor'easter) metal detecting the low tide line
may become very productive. Look for the normal situations, rock piles,
shell areas, beach cuts close to the waters edge, low spots, etc., all may
Caution never Metal Detect any Beach during a Hurricane or
During Extreme Surf with High Tides Situations
Always dig all targets identified by the metal detector on a Treasure Coast,
even iron. Many interesting and potentially valuable targets may not be
Silver, Gold or jewelry but iron, copper, bronze, etc. Don't throw anything
away until you are very sure its trash and not a treasure of some kind.
1 - Always Fill all holes dug since many people use the
beach for other recreational purposes.
2 - Always remove and carry out all trash dug.
3 - Never metal detect the dunes themselves.
4 - Never metal detect in the leased waters.
Remember most of the Treasure Coast today is behind private residences and
detectorist need to respect the beach as it may be used by those living there and other
visitors. If too many complaints are received by local authorities about unfilled holes, trash,
improper parking and bad behavior the treasure coast beaches may become off limits to
Last, but certainly not least always pickup all green stones
because you may end up holding an
in your hand.
Southeast Florida Sites
Dive The Florida Beach's
Florida's Fabulous Treasures
1715 Fleet Society
Treasure Tragedy Marks Treasure Coast
1715 Fleet Beach Site Revealed
1715 Spanish Plate Fleet
Shipwrecks Near Wabasso Beach by Robert Weller and Ernie Richards
Shipwrecks in the Americas by Robert F. Marx
True Stories of Sunken Treasure by Bob Weller