Nuestra Senora de Atocha
Sunk in 1622
Found by Mel Fisher
The Atocha tragically ended her voyage
on a reef off the Florida Keys on September 6, 1622, taking with
her 264 souls many of whom, were of royal blood. She scattered
over 47 troy tons of treasure over 50 miles of ocean bottom.
There were only 5 people to survive the wreck.
Ironically Mel Fisher was born almost
300 years to the day that the Atocha went down. His obsession
for the Atocha treasure has lasted over 20 years. During this
time, Mel found himself selling off other treasures that he had
found, trying all the time to get people to invest in his dream...
Fighting off bill collectors, power and
utilities cut-offs. He could not even pay his own divers at times.
Mel was forever going to court to keep other salvage companies
away from the wreck areas.
The biggest tragedy was the death of
Mel's son Dirk, Dirk's wife and another crew member. This happened
when his salvage boat "The Northwind" sank over the
wreck site on July 20, 1975.
Mel Fisher continued on his search despite
all the financial problems, death of family and friends. He ended
up finding the mother lode.