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Ship type

Merchant ship


A hurricane



Rodrigo Torres


Luis Herrera

Shipwreck zone

Upper Matacumbe Key, Florida

Port of departure

Havana (CUB)


Cadiz (ESP)


El Herrera


Sugar, silver coins, tobacco, indigo , and hides and skins

On Friday, July 13, 1733, the Nueva España Fleet, under the command of General Rodrigo de Torres, left the port of Havana bound for Spain. The fleet consisted of 4 escort galleons, 16 merchant ships and 2 small ships that transported supplies to the Presidio St. Augustine.

Nuestra Señora de Belén y San Antonio de Padua, nicknamed Herrera after her owner Luis Herrera, was designed and built in England and could carry 10 to 13 iron cannons. Her return cargo to Spain consisted of animal skins, cochineal, indigo, sugar, tobacco, and silver coins. The Herrera was sailing in the middle of the fleet when she left the port of Havana. On the day of the accident, the hurricane pushed her over a reef; damaged and leaking, she sank. Spanish divers of the time were successful in recovering the silver coins. It can be visited.

Read the full story in “10 notable shipwrecks”