The convoy was composed of five vessels of the Nueva España Flota , commanded by Captain-General Juan Esteban de Ubilla, six ships of the squadron of Tierra Firme , commanded by Captain-General Don Antonio de Echeverz y Zubiza and a French frigate named Le Griffon , commanded by Captain Antoine dAire. The frigate would have provided added protection against British warships and the many marauding pirates that roamed the seas. Crammed within the holds of these heavily laden vessels were 15,000,000 pesos worth of gold, silver and jewels, the riches of the New World and Orient.
King Philip V of Spain eagerly awaited the safe arrival of the combined fleet, as he desperately needed the treasure the ships carried to help boost a faltering Spanish economy. The War of Spanish Succession had left the Spanish Government near bankruptcy, and King Philip had given the official command that as much treasure as possible must be brought back from the Indies without regard for the cost or dangers involved.
Unfortunately for the king, the fleet was destined to never arrive in Spain. Upon leaving Cuban waters, the ships entered the narrow Bahama Channel, or what today is more often called the Straits of Florida.This was the most dangerous part of the voyage, for the fleet would have to tack back and forth between the Bahamas and the Florida coast to catch the winds and proper currents. Once they had entered the channel, there was no turning back and no way out until they reached the Carolinas, an average ten-day passage. All seemed well during the early part of the voyage as the convoy slowly made its way around Cape Florida. However, the fleets commanders were completely unaware that a gathering storm was building in the Bahamas a few hundred miles away. The doomed ships continued on through the treacherous Florida Straits oblivious to the danger that lurked just over the horizon.
On July 31, 1715, a savage hurricane swept across the Bahama Channel, catching in its path the ill-fated Spanish treasure fleet. He entire fleet was struck by the full fury of the violent hurricane, roaring out of the east-northeast with winds in excess of seventy-five miles an hour.Torrential rain fell in cascading sheets, obscuring the other ships of the convoy, so that each vessel some only a few hundred feet apart was now sailing alone. The fleet was helpless in the midst of the hurricane. By sunrise the next morning, eleven vessels, more than 15 million pesos in registered treasure, and 700 lives (including that of General Ubilla) were lost in one of the worst disasters in maritime history. Of the twelve ships that had sailed from Havana, only one had escaped.
The rest of the fleet disintegrated on the jagged coral reefs of Florida between the present-day city of Fort Pierce and the Sebastian Inlet. Meanwhile, a fortune in gold, silver and precious jewelry was left scattered over the beaches and reefs only a few hundred yards offshore. The destruction of the 1715 Fleet was a disaster of catastrophic proportions, not just for the people directly involved, but the loss of the fleet had worldwide political and economic ramifications as well.
The story is fascinating by itself, but the fact that these vessels wrecked directly off the beach (literally a stones throw from shore) and have produced vast quantities of treasure in modern times is equally captivating. Today, over 300 years later, treasure still continues to be found from these wreck sites off the Florida Coast. Equally alluring is the fact that some of the shipwrecks have never been found and are still awaiting discovery. The most intriguing tale concerning the 1715 fleet is the mystery of the missing Queens Jewels. After the death of Queen Maria Luisa Gabriella of Savoy in 1714, King Philip was married by proxy to the Duchess of Parma, Isabel Farnese.According to popular legend, as part of the marriage agreement, Isabel demanded that she be given jewelry unique in all the world. Could the Queens dowry still lie somewhere just offshore beneath the waves and sand? These intriguing components of the story only add to the allure. The item "1715 Fleet Shipwreck Mexico Silver 4-Reales Cob Mel Fisher Cobb Coin Co.
COA" is in sale since Saturday, January 19, 2019. This item is in the category "Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ World\North & Central America\Mexico\Colonial (up to 1821)". The seller is "bellebrady_12" and is located in New Iberia, Louisiana. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Bahamas, Singapore, Saudi arabia, United arab emirates, Bahrain, Malaysia, Chile, Colombia, Costa rica, Dominican republic, Panama, Trinidad and tobago, Guatemala, El salvador, Honduras, Jamaica, Viet nam.