Florida family finds $300k worth of gold in underwater treasure hunt

Gold chains and coins from the wreckage | Image from 1715 Fleet – Queens Jewels, LLC

In a stroke of luck that seems too Hollywood to be real, a family hunting for treasure in a sunken ship in the Atlantic Ocean hauled up $300,000 worth of gold this weekend.

The booty comes from a ship that was sailing from Cuba to Spain in 1715 carrying $400 million worth of treasure when a hurricane drove it into the ocean. This weekend the sailors’ misfortune became the Schmitt family’s luck, Reuters reports.

Gold chains and coins lay hidden in the wreckage belonging to a company called 1715 Fleet – Queens Jewels LLC. The Schmitts were scouring the ship under a subcontracting agreement with the firm.

Florida law gives the state a 20% stake in the reward; the rest will be divided evenly between the company and the Schmitt family.

This was not the first big find for the divers. In 2002 Eric Schmitt found a silver platter worth $25,000.

In 2010 a mother and daughter duo found a solid gold statue of a bird in the wreckage. It’s appraised value is calculated at nearly $900,000.

Since acquiring the rights to salvage shipwrecks in the Atlantic in 2010, the firm has retrieved between $1.3 and $1.4 million worth of relics, according to the company’s website.

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