16th Century Shipwreck Discovered Off Cape Canaveral Holds Treasures Worth Millions of Dollars

By  //  July 12, 2018

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sailed to establish a colony in Florida in 1562 & 1565

The French fleur-de-lis symbol engraved on a 16th-century bronze cannon discovered in a shipwreck off the coast of Cape Canaveral, in Florida. (Global Marine Exploration, Inc. Image)

BREVARD COUNTY • CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA (LiveScience) – A 16th-century shipwreck that may be all that’s left of one of the first European voyages to America holds treasures worth millions of dollars.

But now a judge has ruled that the company that discovered the wreck off the coast of Florida has no right to salvage the valuable artifacts.

That’s because the artifacts may be from a small fleet of French ships, led by the explorer Jean Ribault, which sailed to establish a colony in Florida in 1562 and 1565. In a decision on the legal dispute released last week, U.S. judge Karla Spaulding gave ownership of the wreck and its valuable artifacts to the nation of France.

The Florida marine salvage company Global Marine Enterprises (GME) located the wreck’s three ornate bronze cannons — each worth more than $1 million — and a distinctive marble monument (which is now considered “priceless”) off Cape Canaveral in May and June of 2016.

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