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 National

Making headlines this week

AP792818563420

A look at the big stories that made news this week and the headlines you may have missed.

in Sports

This week’s top sports shots

AP351363760471

A look at some of this week's best moments in sports.

in Sports

This weekend’s sports schedule

jameis

A complete look at this weekend's sports schedule.

in National

Americans are really angry with Washington

america

Americans are angry with the handling of issues ranging from healthcare reform to the rise of Islamic State militants.

in Music, Sports

Vince Gill named best golfer in music

vincegill

Gill beat out other country stars Kip Moore and Jake Owen to be named the best on the golf course.