The Fleet Society is very pleased to announce that it was the recent recipient of a large collection of archival documents donated by none other than Karen McKee (Society Member # 29), the daughter of world-famous diver and treasure hunter Art McKee. Often referred to as “the father of modern treasure diving” Art McKee pioneered salvage work on historic shipwrecks in the days before scuba diving became popular. In 1948 McKee found the remains of the 1733 lost Spanish fleet. In 1949, having a warehouse full of artifacts and treasure from several different wrecks, McKee opened to the public the first museum in the world dedicated to sunken treasure. His daughter, Karen, has carried on the tradition and is a recognized numismatic expert in the field of sunken treasure coins.
The donated documents consist of newspaper articles, letters, personal notes, photos, and assorted memorabilia. The Society greatly appreciates Karen’s generosity in donating this material to us. The receipt of these records is in keeping with our mission. We believe that through our educational programs we will promote public awareness of the 1715 Fleet and its impact on history. Through this awareness, we hope to reach those individuals that may possess documents that we can be either donated or copied so that we can be the repository of this historical information before it is lost to history.
Once again, we thank Karen and promise to file a report of what we uncover once we have had a chance to study the donated material.
President, 1715 Fleet Society