Anguilla Local News

Dive a Spanish Galleon in Anguilla   Site Map   Click to enlarge pictures

[Click to enlarge] After years of preparation, Anguilla has an exciting new dive adventure - the wreck of an actual 18th century Spanish galleon. The El Buen Consejo sunk off the southeast coast of Anguilla on July 8th, 1772. It was part of a group of 15-16 ships on their way to Mexico and beyond. The ship was carrying Franciscan priests and a cargo of linens, cottons, provisions, livestock, religious books and thousands of bronze devotional mediallions that were to be used in converting the heathen. All the passengers and crew got safely to shore on Anguilla.

In a local lecture about two years ago, the marine archeologists who investigated the site explained that the wreck was well documented in the Spanish archives. Because the ship was stuck on a reef for several months, almost everything of value that could be removed from the ship was removed. Then a hurricane broke the El Buen Consejo apart and salvage stopped, and the location was eventually forgotten.

The wreck was discovered 15 years ago by Anguillian fisherman Leander "Bull" Bryan. He shared his secret with Dr. Raymond Knudsen, a diver from Vermont. Over the years they formed a company to preserve and explore the wreck site, but the site was kept secret until it could be properly surveyed because of potential looting by treasure hunters. Finally, all was ready and Government issued them a license to operate dives to the site and establish an underwater museum and park.

Shoal Bay Scuba is taking groups of divers to the site, where in 15-30 feet of water they can see cannon balls, 10-1/2 foot cannons weighing up to 3,500 pounds (the cannons above the waterline were salvaged in 1772!), medallions, beads, and thimbles. Telephone: 1-264-497-4371 Email: [email protected]

 Revised: June 15, 1999

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