On the morning of September 6th, 1622, the Spanish galleon “Nuestra Senora de Atocha” was caught in a ferocious hurricane and wrecked on the coral reefs just off Key West, Florida taking with her a kings’ ransom in gold, emeralds and many other Royal and private treasures. The Atocha had left Havana, Cuba two days earlier bound for Spain with protectorates of 28 ships including the Tierra Firma Fleet. Destiny had decreed that even this massive fleet would not protect the precious cargo of the Atocha from the unforgiving grasp of the sea.
The sea would keep the secrets of the Atocha from further human contact for 360 years.
In 1968 Mel Fisher and his family would begin their 16 years search at a cost of $20 million. Initially relying on misleading information, Mel began his search in waters that he and his staff of talented researchers would realize were over 100 miles from where the Atocha lay! With accurate information garnered from the Archives of the Indies in Seville, Spain, Mel moved his operation to Key West and within a year had located a galleon.
On July 20th, 1985, after 16 years of searching Mel and his Golden Crew would discover the mother lode of the Atocha, which to date has yielded over $500 million in treasure, and the search continues.