PENSACOLA, FL-- In 1559, a hurricane plunged as many as seven Spanish sailing vessels to the bottom of Pensacola Bay, hampering explorer Don Tristan de Luna's attempt to colonize this section of the Florida Panhandle.
Almost 500 years later and 15 years after the first ship was found, another has been discovered, helping archaeologists unlock secrets to Florida's Spanish past. The colony at the site of present-day Pensacola was abandoned in 1561, and no trace of it has been found on land.
Teams of University of West Florida archaeology students last summer discovered what they thought was the shipwreck, picking up pieces of artifacts from the site. A 32-by-24-foot barge now covers the site to give divers access.
Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning joined divers Thursday for a close look at the shipwreck, partially buried in sand about 12 feet below the water surface. It w
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