© Mapbox & OpenStreetMap



Ship type

Merchant ship


A hurricane



Rodrigo Torres

Shipwreck zone

Tavernier Key, Florida

Port of departure

Havana (CUB)


Cadiz (ESP)


El Duque

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 San José, a 326-ton ship, was built in New England in 1728. Shortly thereafter she was acquired by José del Duque, who named her San José y Las Animas and put her at the service of the Spanish fleet. With a cargo of porcelain, silver coins and other goods, the ship sailed from Havana near the Capitana.

When a hurricane pushed the ships towards the coast, she ran aground and the hull was quickly flooded. All crew and passengers made it safely to shore on rafts. The San José was not set on fire like other wrecked ships. It can be visited.

Read the full story in “10 notable shipwrecks”