Certified divers can work alongside professional treasure salvage experts excavating the wrecksite of a 1622 Spanish galleon during a series of weeklong dive adventures set for mid-June through mid-August.
Participants in the Atocha Dive Adventure join the effort to recover artifacts and treasure from the Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha, which sank in approximately 55 feet of water 35 miles southwest of Key West.
In 1985, shipwreck salvor Mel Fisher uncovered an estimated $500 million of the Atocha’s treasure and a large portion of the vessel’s structure — a find widely regarded as one of the modern era’s most significant underwater discoveries.
Crews led by the late Fisher’s family continue to search for the ship’s sterncastle, as well as the gold and silver bars and coins that are listed on the Atocha’s manifest but remain undiscovered.
Each Atocha Dive Adventure includes training in commercial treasure salvage techniques, behind-the-scenes tours of the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum and laboratories where Atocha artifacts are conserved and two full days of diving the site with salvage experts seeking the galleon’s sterncastle.
Any participant who discovers gold, silver or artifacts will be awarded previously conserved Atocha pieces of equal value, up to $2,500, from the Fisher family’s private collection.
The package also includes six nights’ accommodations in Key West, training and checkout dives on the Keys’ living coral reef and an optional lobster dive or exploration of the artificial reef Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg. A welcome barbecue and pool party with the Fisher family and a sunset sailing excursion round out the experience.
Cost is $2,500 per person and space is extremely limited since each session is restricted to six divers. For available dates and reservations, contact Shawn Cowles or Jordan Filbrandt at 305-294-5441.