Finding myself “sheltered in place” for the last 7 weeks has allowed me the rare opportunity to devote many uninterrupted hours to reviewing archival material that I have gathered over the years. I have always dreamed of having the time to do that and, with the unfortunate circumstances of the pandemic, I now have that time.
While searching through some old documents, I came across a 1982 case from the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida which involves a shipwreck from the 1715 Fleet off of Corrigan’s. The case, Cobb Coin Company, Inc. vs. The Unidentified, Wrecked and Abandoned Sailing Vessel, etc. was decided by Judge James Lawrence King on August 31, 1982. Consisting of 44 pages, with 11 additional pages of footnotes, this case is a must read for all of those who would like to know about the legal side of shipwreck recovery. The trouble with treasure is that finding it is hard, but keeping it is harder. This case gives a nice history of the efforts made to salvage the 1715 wreck sites. Also, it recognizes the significant risk, both financial and personal, involved in recovery attempts. You can read the full document of the case at the link below.
This is just one of several cases that I have in my archives. I will post others at a later time. Beware that the decision is a bit difficult to get through to the end, but try and make the effort. I think it will be worth it. Submitted by Ben Costello, Director.