Wreck off Haiti may be Columbus’ flagship Santa Maria | Louisville

The underwater explorer Barry Clifford, who led a team that found and investigated the wreck, says he’s confident it is.

If his claim is confirmed, it would go down as one of the most significant underwater archaeological discoveries in history.

Clifford told CNN late Monday that he found the ship in the exact area where Columbus says the Santa Maria ran aground more than 500 years ago. The wreck is stuck on a reef off Haiti’s northern coast, 10 to 15 feet beneath the water’s surface.

The “smoking gun” that led Clifford to believe the ship is the Santa Maria is a cannon of 15th century design that was found at the site, he said.

“It is the Mount Everest of shipwrecks for me,” the 68-year-old Clifford said. “This ship changed the course of human history.”

Wrecked in 1492

The Santa Maria was the flagship of Columbus’ small fleet that set sail from Spain in August 1492 under the sponsorship of King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I. via |


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