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Shipwreck of famous pirate discovered off the coast of Panama

Archaeologists from Texas State University have made an extremely interesting discovery. While diving and exploring at Laja Reef, off the coast of Panama, they discovered a shipwreck that most likely belonged to Captain Morgan, a 17th century British buccaneer. Researchers from a US university while exploring the seabed in Panama’s coastal waters have found a
Published: October 18, 2020 - 09:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 21:21
Shipwreck of famous pirate discovered off the coast of Panama

Archaeologists from Texas State University have made an extremely interesting discovery. While diving and exploring at Laja Reef, off the coast of Panama, they discovered a shipwreck that most likely belonged to Captain Morgan, a 17th century British buccaneer.

Researchers from a US university while exploring the seabed in Panama’s coastal waters have found a fragment of the hull of a ship, once believed to have belonged to Henry Morgan. This British buccaneer of Welsh origin owned several plantations and was later vice-governor of Jamaica.

archaeological diver on the Panama wreck It was from his base in Port Royal, Jamaica, that Captain Morgan carried out raids on settlements and ships flying the Spanish flag. Through his activities he became an extremely wealthy and influential man. With the money he earned in the pirate trade, he bought three large sugar plantations on the island.

In 1671 Morgan took Panama City as his target for invasion. He and his crew landed the coast from the Caribbean and then attacked the city, which was on the other side of the land, on the Pacific coast.

cannon from the wreck of a pirate ship The wreck found contains numerous unopened crates that were the vessel’s cargo. Some of these are covered in coral and appeared to match in age and style the five ships the Morgan lost on the reef in 1671.

A team of archaeologists led by Fritz Hanselmann, chief underwater archaeologist at the University of Texas, working in the surrounding waters had already discovered six iron cannons from Captain Morgan’s vessels.

Photo: Texas State University

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Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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