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Ship type

Merchant ship


A hurricane



Rodrigo Torres

Shipwreck zone

Elliot Key, Florida

Port of departure

Havana (CUB)




Hides and skins, tobacco, dyes, citrus fruits , and indigo

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.

The northernmost wreck of the ships of the 1733 fleet was that of the Pópulo. She belonged to the king and probably had a capacity of 150-250 tons, with 14 cannons. Her cargo consisted of cochineal, indigo, hides, gift boxes, citrus and tobacco. Sailing at the head of the fleet near the Capitana, the Pópulo was driven by hurricane winds far to the north, away from the rest of the fleet. She hit a coral reef and ended up sinking into the sand. It can be visited.

Read the full story in “10 notable shipwrecks”