INDIAN RIVER SHORES, Fla. - Treasure hunting season is well underway in the waters off of the coast of Indian River County.
Captain Greg Bounds, Brent Brisben, and their team of treasure hunters found a four foot cannon and 22 gold coins just off of the coast of Indian River Shores on Sunday.
They estimate the coins are worth around $150,000 and date back to 1698. The canon is harder to estimate.
Brisben and his father bought out part of the territory owned by famed treasure hunter Mel Fisher, the man who discovered 40 tons of silver and gold on the Atocha wreck in the 1980s.
This is Brisben's first big find since he took over the operation. His group previously found a gold coin and gold locket.
Finding treasure is not as easy as it might appear. Many days treasure hunters return with nothing but suntans.
The group has been searching for the Lost Spanish Fleet of 1715 and the Queen's Jewels. These wrecks, and many more, have helped give the Treasure Coast its appropriate nickname.
Remarkably, the treasure turned up just a stone’s throw from a public beach near Vero Beach – the divers’ boat anchored in waist deep water.
“It doesn’t surprise me that a lot of this material is so close to shore,” said Bounds. “Because the ships were pushed here by the hurricanes.”
Bounds and Brisben say after their big find, they will likely spend the rest of the summer mining those same shallow waters near the beach.
Brisben has four treasure hunting boats contracted for the search.
At the end of the summer, he says he will divide up everything they find. He says the state of Florida typically takes historical pieces, like the cannon.
The rest he’ll split among his company, his divers and their investors.
Copyright (c) 2010 The E. W . Scripps Company and Angie's List
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