Treasure hunters find 300-year-old gold coins off Treasure Coast

WABASSO BEACH, Fla. - For Captain Greg Bounds, Saturday on the "Capitana" started like any other.

"From getting on the boat, and getting ready, it's hard work," Bounds said. "We're out there, all day, pulling ropes and diving, and lifting anchors, big heavy anchors. It's the hardest job I've ever had in my life."

Bounds and his crew headed offshore, about 200 feet off the coastline on Wabasso Beach, then began looking for sunken treasure.

It sounds glamorous, but it can take years to find anything.

"A lot of times, it's beer cans, fishing weights, just garbage," explained Bounds.

But Saturday turned out to be their lucky day. Bounds found forty-eight gold coins, buried in the sand.

"You go out every day, hoping that it's gonna happen, and a lot of times it doesn't," said Bounds. "But when it does, it's just amazing, the feeling that you get."

Brent Brisben's company, 1715 Fleet Queen's Jewels, owns the salvage rights to the shipwrecks they hunt, off the Sebastian Inlet.

"Eleven Spanish galleons, loaded with treasure, were sunk along the coastline out here by a hurricane (in 1715)," said Brisben. "That's what gives us the Treasure Coast."

Brisben said finding the gold coins from ships that wrecked almost 300 years ago is exhilarating.

"To see (Bounds) come up out of the water, and over the rail, I'll never forget, he waves us in," recalled Brisben. "He says, 'I think I got one more,' and he drops about fifteen in my hand."

Valued at almost a quarter million dollars, the clink of the sound of the golden coins is music to the treasure hunters' ears.

"I love the sound of gold," said Bounds, pouring the coins from hand-to-hand. "This makes it all worth it."

 

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