We have Pirate Treasure on our beaches!!

(NEWSER July 15, 2013) – “You may want to pack your snorkeling gear the next time you’re headed to Florida’s eastern coast. The owner of a shipwreck-seeking salvage company has announced that he discovered 48 gold coins worth as much as $250,000 off Wabasso Beach on Saturday. And as CNN reports, he made the find just 100 feet from shore, at a depth of just 6 feet. The coins seem to be in good condition, so much so that their dates can be read—they were made between 1697 and 1714…..”

How about a totally Kool Florida Vacation? Regular people are finding shipwreck coins on and just off our local Florida beaches by snorkeling or using an inexpensive metal detector. I’m talking about real pirate treasure from pirate shipwrecks. Right here on a Florida beach about an hour from the Orlando theme parks. Check out the article above…. 

When I first moved to this area, I heard the rumors about treasures found on Florida beaches. People kept this very quiet, but something like this just can’t be kept secret for very long. This pirate treasure was coming from ancient Spanish shipwrecks sunk along our coast during a hurricane in 1715. In those days the Spanish owned Florida and travelled through Florida waters to get their plundered treasure back to Spain. Local Florida people have taken advantage of these pirate treasure shipwrecks, and carried home doubloons, old Spanish coins, shipwreck jewelry, cob coins, Pillar Dollars, Spanish gold coins, gold and silver from these beaches and it would seem that not a lot of folks are aware of this. So, I thought I would help this situation along and write this page. Lately recent real news is overtaking this webpage.

(Orlando Sentinel Sept 2, 2013) – “Most treasure hunters go a lifetime and never take home a single piece of silver. But one Sanford family is now among the divers who struck gold — and a lot of it. The treasure-hunting Schmitt family uncovered this weekend what could be $300,000 worth of gold chains and coins just off the coast of Fort Pierce……The discovery came about 150 yards offshore and only 15 feet down….”

And then….

“(Orlando Sentinel July 28, 2015) For a few weeks, the Schmitt family and 1715 Fleet — Queens Jewels LLC had a million-dollar secret on their hands. Last month, they recovered $1 million worth of sunken Spanish coins and jewels off the Florida Coast…..”

Who wouldn’t like to find some valuable shipwreck coins on a Florida treasure beach? Or find gold while snorkeling? Imagine a treasure hunt that doesn’t require a dive boat, and the only equipment necessary is a metal detector or a mask and finns! Besides, your family can’t spend every day at a theme park .. you’ll go broke! Spend some time on one of our beaches and go for a swim –  it could pay for your entire trip and then some!

I’m a sailor, not a treasure hunter, but living here for 20 years I’ve had friends who were. The information presented here was gathered by those who ‘know’ and is very real.  I’m publishing exact directions to every treasure beach I’m aware of in central Florida.  I know it’s not Pirate Treasure, but hey, a treasure beach is a treasure beach …right? Hunting for tropical treasure can add a little excitement to life and who can say if there’s a pirate treasure chest waiting to be found?  Besides, if you’re taking the kids to Disney or Universal, this would make a great day trip (roughly 1 hour by car), and who knows, you could get rich. Why not? I’ve heard a lot weirder get rich schemes and they were smoke and mirrors. If you read those news clips above….then you know, this treasure is for real. Besides, metal detectors are fun for the whole family, as you never know what you’ll discover (think ‘pieces of eight’), and who doesn’t like wading in 80 degree water?

Treasure, Pirates, Gold!!! 

It doesn’t get any better !

(FLATODAY August 19,2015) – “Less than a month after the Schmitt family of Sanford announced their $1 million sunken treasure find, Brent Brisben announced his $4.5 million discovery.

On July 30 and 31 off the coast of Vero Beach, Brisben, who is captain of the S/V Capitana, and his crew recovered 350 gold coins. Nine of the coins found are known as Royals and valued at $300,000 apiece; these were specially made for the king of Spain, Phillip V, in the early 1700s.

“People love treasure stories. It resonates with everybody — every demographic, young and old, rich and poor,” Brisben said. “People freak out that we’re literally 10-15 feet off the beach in 2-3 feet of water.”…..”

Usually more gold, coins and silver are found after a local storm, as the sea is agitated, the sea bottom stirred up, and treasure is washed onto the beach or uncovered on the bottom in just a few feet of water. A patient person with a metal detector and/or a dive mask can have a very profitable day if conditions are right, as treasure will lie just under the sandy surface of the beach or lay visible in shallow water. Now tell me, isn’t this the way to spend a couple of days of your vacation!!

Treasure hunting on these sites is legal but Florida Law says that you have to split your find with the State of Florida.(I won’t tell them if you don’t)

These directions have a starting point of course, and begin from a city in east central Florida roughly even with and some 60 miles east of Orlando, FL.  The city is Melbourne, FL. Melbourne is a vibrant, coastal town separated from the  Atlantic Ocean by a barrier island which runs along the coast some 70 miles and is connected to the mainland by several causeways. This barrier island is where the shipwrecks occurred and where 1715 Fleet artifacts are found. The lagoon formed between the city and the island is a part of the USA east coast intracoastal waterway, and is where I do most of my sailing. 

Before we get started, this is important.. if you are one of the lucky ones, keep it to yourself. These days the Spanish Government is suing anyone who finds anything that looks like it might be from an ancient Spanish ship as they are claiming it as Spanish Government property. Believe it or not, there is more recent news on this as the Country of Peru has also chimed in saying that most of these ancient Spanish coins were minted in Peru and therefore… you guessed it … the coins belong to them, not Spain.

I’m posting this because as of today (January 2012), the Spanish claim has been verified and upheld in US courts but only concerning sunken vessels. The Peru claim is still pending. Therefore I’m confident that I’m not advising anyone to break the law. This could change, as it’s Spain needs the money (who doesn’t?) and now up to US courts to decide the matter. We all know this could take years. In the meantime there’s absolutely no need for you to become one of their test cases on Admiralty Law. I’m not an attorney but in my humble opinion, if you treasure hunt with a metal detector and find gold on these beaches there is a precedent in “finders keepers … losers weepers, ” section of US Law regardless of who’s shipwreck was responsible for littering our beaches with their gold.

First, some brief History(or why we are all reading this)Every year, two fleets traveled between Spain and the Americas; the Esquadron de Terra Firme from Spain to South America, and the Flota d e Nova Espana toward Vera Cruz. Sometimes, these two fleets would travel together all the way to the Caribbean. The return voyage was more dangerous. The galleons were fully loaded with precious cargoes of gold, silver, jewelry, tobacco, spices, indigo, cochineal etc… The crews were tired and often plagued by health problems brought on by tropical diseases, malnutrition, and deplorable hygienic conditions on board. These conditions made ships even more vulnerable to attacks by pirates, but the greatest danger came from an uncontrollable element; the weather. The general weather conditions were more favorable during the summer months. The waters of the Atlantic Ocean were calmer, and the prevailing winds gentler. However, in 1715 the fleet left later than usual and were caught by a hurricane off the coast of central Florida. The entire fleet was lost on the reefs off the coast of Florida. Six of the 11 shipwreck sites have been discovered, the other 5 shipwrecks remain to be found with only a general idea as to their location. The consensus is that they should be found between Cape Canaveral ( US space center) to the north and Fort Pierce to the south. The Melbourne area is roughly in the center of this general area and many artifacts have been found washed up on our local beaches. We can only surmise that these undiscovered shipwrecks are located right here.

Now before I give you the directions to our lost treasure, there’s one more important brief comment for anyone who hasn’t visited our beaches. Florida beaches are continuous (obviously). On some stretches, it’s possible to walk for miles without encountering anyone. Brevard county has 70 miles of coastline. The following areas are places in Brevard and Indian River counties where people have found lost treasure which has washed ashore from these shipwrecks year after year, just by walking the beach. Many of these areas are sparsely populated. For the most part, there are no concession stands and restaurants are few and far in between. Look for Bait and Tackle shops as they’re your best bet for refreshments (and frozen Margaritas!!). It’s probably best that you pack a lunch and bring something to drink, and don’t forget to bring a hat and the most protective sunscreen you can find!! (we’re talking SPF 70 here). Don’t forget spare batteries for the metal detector. Also note that gas stations are spaced 5 to 10 miles apart on A1A. 

Lastly, if you do get rich quick, please remember to take care of the guy who gave you the directions to these sites !! (Me!!).

Directions to a treasure beach

Aquarina Beach

From Melbourne, FL take Route 192 east across the intracoastal waterway causeway, and stay on it right to the end. Take a right on route A1A (Miramar Ave) and follow. 1.7 miles to the traffic light in Melbourne Beach. Take a left at the light and go about 10 miles south. The best place to park is at the Sebastian Beach Inn (It’s a restaurant, not a motel). There is Beach access at this point. 1715 silver Spanish coins have been found in this area. Although no shipwreck has been discovered on the reef, Spanish Treasure is consistanly found here.

Bonsteel Park

The next treasure beach is 2.5 miles south to to “Bonsteel Park.” (This is about 14 miles south of the junction of US 192 and A1A or 2.4 miles north of Sebastian Inlet). Bonsteel Park is a small county ocean side park with parking and beach access. This is another Spanish Treasure beach as 1715 coins are found here.

Sebastian Inlet State Recreation Area

The state park is clearly marked and is approximately 2 1/2 miles south of Bonsteel Park. Hunt the beach south of the jetty, you may find coins here from the Cabin Wreck, which is the next site to the south.

Cabin Wreck

About 0.8 miles south of the inlet, you’ll see a DAY USE BEACH ACCESS park. Walk south 1.5 miles to get to the North Cabin Wreck area. Here you can find coins and artifacts from the Nuestra Senora de la Regla wreck of 1715. The best Spanish Treasure hunting starts at the McLarty rock pile and to the south. Go slow and the metal detector should find them within 10 inches of the surface.

McLarty Visitor Center

You might want to pay this small museum a visit as they specialize in local Spanish Treasure finds, and display many gold and silver artifacts as well as treasures. It also provides a bit of local Native American history and tells of how the natives helped survivors.

They show a 30 minute video that features several well known treasure hunters, among them Mel Fisher. Over 1/2 million $ worth of gold coins have been discovered here (that we know of) as recent as July 2013. 

Continue past McLarty about 0.9 miles for beach access marked as AMBERSAND BEACH ACCESS. Park and walk over the boardwalk to the treasure beach. The best spot to hunt is about 1200 feet to the north and north of the McLarty Rockpile. This is the site believed to be of the Nuestra Senora de La Regla, one of the 1715 galleon wrecks. Silver bars and Spanish gold coins are found on the beachmaking this beach a treasuretrove.

Cannon Wreck

Continue south from Ambersand Beach another 2 miles to TREASURE SHORES BEACH PARK. Here is a mix of late 1715 and 1800’s materials. One wreck, a suspected British pirate ship caught and sank by the Spanish, while she was raiding the 1715 shipwreck. Here there might be some interference while decting Spanish Treasure as your metal detector will go off the scale as you come across 1715 material, as well as slag iron reputed to be from a circa 1890 merchant ship.

Spring of Whitby & Robert

Continuing south on A1A another 1.3 miles, you’ll see the entrance to GOLDEN SANDS PARK on the ocean side. Cross the boardwalk to the beach. You’ll see beach markers to the north and south. The wrecks of the Robert & the Spring of Whitbey are located here. Both wrecks are from 1810. This beach produces Spanish “Pillar Dollars” and treasure from the early 19th century.

Green Cabin Wreck

SAN MARTIN 1618 – Continue south on A1A for 1.5 miles until you reach the intersection of A1A and State Road 510. Here you’ll see the WABASSO BEACH (named after the Ossadaw Indians). This beach produces 1715 and 1618 coins. The best area is to the south approximately 5,000 feet where material from the 1618 shipwreck SAN MARTIN lay offshore.

Corrigan’s Wreck

Believed to be where the SANTO CRISTO DE SAN ROMAN (1715) went down. There are 2 sites, first go down A1A another 1.6 miles from Wabasso Beach to SEAGRAPE BEACH ACCESS, or a little farther south (0.8 miles) to TURTLE BEACH ACCESS. This is the site of one of the 1715 galleons. The scatter from this particular wreck covers a large area. Many Spanish gold coins and silver coins, as well as Spanish artifacts and all kinds of Spanish treasure have been found on the beaches after storms.


Continue 8.5 miles south from TURTLE BEACH to where it is believed the NUESTRA SENORA DEL CARMEN (1715) went down. Be careful, you’ll be travelling through the beach residential area of Vero Beach. Look for Rio Mar Drive and turn left. Park at the end of the street and cross the boardwalk unto the beach. 

This is another 1715 shipwreck that produces coins and other artifacts. If you see a white boat anchored offshore, wave to Kane Fisher, who found the Atocha wreck along with his dad, the famous Mel Fisher. If he’s looking for Spanish Treasure here, so should you!

Wedge Wreck

Continue south 11.8 miles toward Ft. Pierce and look for PEPPER PARK BEACH on the ocean side.
Here you will find 1715 coins. The area to the north in front of the pink condos has been a productive spot. The wreck offshore has been designated a State Underwater Park.

Douglas Beach, Gold Wreck

This is believed to be site of the NUESTRA SENORA DE LAS NIEVES (1715). There are 2 sites associated with this wreck. You’ll have to detour from A1A unto US 1 to cross the inlet at Ft. Pierce. Follow the signs and get back to A1A ocean side. Approximately 2.5 miles south of the Ft. Pierce Inlet you’ll find JOHN BROOKS PARK/GREEN TURTLE BEACH, this is the northern most site, continue south 0.3 miles and you’ll be at FREDERICH DOUGLAS MEMORIAL BEACH. Between these two sites you’ll find Spanish gold coins and silver coins as well as other 1715 Spanish artifacts.

North Power Plant

Just south of Douglas Beach, is MIDDLE COVE PARK, an area where coins from the mid sixteen hundreds are found on the beach. 

Well, that’s it for the treasure beach Page. All these sites are very real and remember, it may be illegal to hunt artifacts on them so use this information at your own risk. If you need an affordable boat to get you to pirate treasure locations, check out our cruising catamarans for sale by owner.


By Rick

Owner of a Catalac 8M and Catamaransite webmaster.

9 replies on “We have Pirate Treasure on our beaches!!”

Thanks for your nice site.
My only question is if the State of Florida owns anything older than fifty years old found on the beach and everything in the water, what’s it worth finding Spanish gold or spending a few hundered K $ doing it?

My question is if u had one place and one place only and had just one week to look were would u start for the best outcome in hope to find some treasure

This is a wonderful page! Now I’ve been bitten by the treasure hunting bug! You’re amazing for posting this! Thank you! I know this is quite a few years since you wrote this article, but I can’t imagine things have changed all that much!! ❤❤❤

Info is good!when to purchase a detector and hunt is something else.Try these sites after northeasters at his locations on the beach. Will not work in deep water.Found coins for last 50 years at sites like he described.Some cant get two cause it is now restricted .Cape !Lots of fun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *