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Shipwreck zone

Boca Chica Key- Naval Air Station, Key West, Florida

The remains of the ship’s hull, ballast stones, ceramics, glass, iron ammunition and lead are located at the Boca Chica Channel Wreck site. A mound of ballast stones and the remains of wood from the hull of a ship were found at the site. A study of the hull remains and artifacts discovered revealed that the site probably contains the remains of a small Spanish or French fishing or trading vessel that was wrecked during the period of the American Revolution (1775-1783).

Local divers discovered the wreck site in the early 1970s; three years later, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the Florida Division of Historical Resources created a partnership with the Naval Historical Center to inventory, research and manage the most significant shipwrecks in Florida waters, such as the Boca Chica Channel Wreck.

Major participants in this project were the Naval Historical Center, Florida BAR, National Park Service’s Submerged Resources Center (NPS-SRC), Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Sanctuaries Program, and the Naval Air Facility Key West. A remote sensing campaign was conducted in the Boca Chica Channel in September 1997. Shortly thereafter, archaeologists from the Naval Historical Center, NPS-SRC, Florida BAR, and NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries Program began excavations to determine the general condition of the ship and its archaeological context.