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
Local

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…

Local

Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…

Local

NYPD looking for lewd D train rider

The NYPD is enlisting the public’s help to find a man they say performed a lewd act on the D train Saturday evening. The incident…

Entertainment

QUIZ: How many English words do you actually…

Are you as smart as you say you are? Are you a word nerd? Take this quick vocabulary test to find out if you're a true wordsmith. Good luck.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 12,…

If you've wondered whether Ali and Bethany knew each other, you got an answer tonight: Yes, and in a very tangled way. But many lingering…

Entertainment

Cymbals Eat Guitars Have Everything to 'LOSE'

At its most basic level, a rock band can be thought of as a family, a group of people selflessly devoted to a cause. When…

Entertainment

"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Episode 4, 'Week Four'

Some things are hard to watch in a “Human Centipede” sort of way. Other things in an “American History X” sort of way. Does “Bachelor…

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.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.

Travel

Most popular Labor Day weekend destinations

Priceline.com released its Top 20 destinations for the end of summer, including Labor Day weekend. If you’re heading to any of these spots, expect a…

Wellbeing

Working your way to type 2 diabetes: Job…

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, a stressful job can be as risky for your health as a bad diet and no exercise. A…