Florida family makes $300,000 sunken treasure find

HICKSVILLE, NY- MARCH 9:  An 8 Reales Silver coin dated 1783 from The Franklin Mint's collection of treasure recovered from the sunken spanish ship 'El Cazador' is seen among other artifacts from the ship in a vault at The Franklin Mint offices on March 9, 2007 in Hicksville, New York.  (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images for The Franklin Mint)
An 8 Reales silver coin dated 1783, now in the Franklin Mint’s collection, was part of the treasure recovered from the sunken Spanish ship El Cazador. Credit: Getty Images

A Florida family who spends their time together hunting for treasure struck it rich over the weekend, hauling up an estimated $300,000 worth of gold from an historic wreckage in the Atlantic Ocean.

“What’s really neat about them is they are a family, they spend family time together out there, and the most amazing part about them is they always believed this day would come,” said Brent Brisben, whose company 1715 Fleet — Queens Jewels LLC owns the rights to the wreckage.

Brisben said Rick and Lisa Schmitt, and their grown children Hillary and Eric, found gold chains and coins from the wreckage of a convoy of 11 ships that went down in a hurricane off the coast of Florida in 1715 en route from Cuba to Spain.

The ships’ manifests indicate that about $400 million worth of treasure was on board, of which $175 million has been recovered, Brisben said.

His company bought the rights to the wreck site from the heirs of legendary treasure hunter Mel Fisher in 2010 and allows others, including the Schmitts, to search under subcontracting agreements.

Brisben said the Schmitts, who live in Sanford, Fla., have been searching for treasure for years. Eric Schmitt, who made the latest discovery, also found a silver platter worth about $25,000 in 2002 when he was a high school sophomore.

Under U.S. and Florida law, the treasure will be placed into the custody of the U.S. District Court in South Florida. The state will be allowed to take possession of up to 20 percent of the find for display in a state museum. The remainder will be split evenly between Brisben’s company and the Schmitt family, he said.

Brisben said the story of the 1715 wreckage was used as a basis for the 1977 film “The Deep” and the 2008 film “Fool’s Gold.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sister of accused Boston Marathon bombers arrested for…

The sister of the accused Boston Marathon bombers was arrested in New York City for threatening a woman over the phone, saying she could "put a bomb on you," police…

Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Labor Day in NYC: Make the last weekend…

Soon, it’ll be time for wool accessories and knee-high boots. Even the Pumpkin Spice Latte has already arrived — but we still have one last…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…