List Of Shipwrecks Off Panama

And Off-Lying Areas

1. Year 1503. While Columbus was on his fourth voyage of discovery, two of his caravels were so worm-eaten that he was forced to scuttle them. The Gallega was scuttled near Santa Maria Belem and the Vizcaina off Portobelo. Both vessels were first stripped of all items of value.

2. Year 1514. Two or three small Spanish ships, under the command of Governor Pedrarias, were lost during a storm near Cabo Tiburon, on the Caribbean side of the Isthmus.

3. Year 1544. At the orders of the Conquistador Francisco De Pizarro, an undisclosed number of ships were scuttled in the port of Nombre De Dios after being stripped of their cannons and rigging.

4. Year 1551. An unidentified Spanish nao of the Tierra Firme Flota of Captain-General Sancho De Viedma, was wrecked on the coast about 25 leagues from Nombre De Dios.

5. Year 1563. While on the Tierra Firme Flota Captain-General Antonio De Aquayo was anchored in Nombre De Dios, seven ships were sunk during a storm. None had cargo aboard at the time and the cannons from five were recovered.

6. Year 1567. An unidentified merchant nao of the Tierra Firme Flota of Captain-General Diego Flores De Valdes struck upon an anchor in shallow area while entering Nombre De Dios and sank with all her cargo aboard.

7. Year 1584. Shortly after the Tierra Firme Flota of Captain-General Francisco De Novoa Fiejo entered the port of Nombre De Dios, two merchant naos sank with their cargo from Spain aboard: Espirtu Santo (500 tons) Captain Cristobal Garcia De La Vega, and an unidentified nao of 300 tons Captain Nufio Rodriquez.

8. Year 1609. An unidentified Portuguese caravel, coming from Angola, Africa, with the cargo of slaves, ivory, and gold dust, sank a bit north of the bay of Acla but all of her cargo and slaves were saved.

9. Year 1619. Several flat-bottomed boats that were transporting treasure from Panama to Portobelo overturned on the Rio Chagres and a large amount of treasure was lost.

10. Year 1631. The Almiranta of the South Seas Armada, the Galleon San Jose, while carrying a great amount of treasure from Callo, Peru, to Panama, was wrecked on a reef about forty leagues from Panama City, between the islands of Garachine and La Galera. Divers were quickly sent to the wreck site and recovered 25 of the ships 28 cannons and over a million pesos in treasure. However, a year later the president of Panama reported that there was still over 400,000 pesos in silver specie and 44 silver bars still on the wreck, but diving operations had to be suspended because of rough seas and fast currents; also because the remainder of the treasure was buried under the sand.

11. Year 1632. The patache Margarita, owned by Miguel De Garnica, was wrecked at Isla Del Rey, located 15 leagues from Panama City, but her complete cargo of silver bullion and specie was recovered.

12. Year 1634. Two unidentified Spanish merchant naos were sunk during a storm in the port of Portobelo but the cargo and cannons from both wrecks were salvaged.

13. Year 1635. While the Tierra Firme Armada, commanded by Captain-General Carlos De Ibarra, was in Portobelo loading on the treasure for Spain, one galleon - the Santa Ana Maria - was in such bad condition from multiple leaks that she was stripped and sunk.

14. Year 1670. While approaching the coast of Panama before his attack on Panama City, the flagship of the pirate Henry Morgan and four other ships in his fleet were wrecked on a reef at the mouth of the Chagres River. After all valuable items they were burnt to the waterline by the pirates.

15. Year 1681. After the Tierra Firme Armada, commanded by the Marques De Bienes, had taken on treasure and set sail from Portobelo it was struck by a storm that scattered many of the ships to various places near the coast of Panama. An unidentified rich treasure galleon of Captain Antonio De Lima struck on a reef off of Punta De Brujas and quickly broke up with more that 280 people drowning and her treasure totally lost. The merchant nao Chaperon sank at the mouth of the Chagres River with only eleven men lost; and another nao, La Boticaria, was wrecked on a reef near Isla De Naranjos, but only two men were lost and some of her cargo was eventually recovered.

16. Year 1740. During the English attack led by Admiral Vernon against Portobelo, a small Spanish sloop was sunk at Porto Belo and two large Spanish vessels were sunk at the mouth of the Chagres River.

17. Year 1746. A Spanish privateer, Golgoa, was driven ashore near Portobelo by two English warships after a short battle and quickly went to pieces.

18. Year 1818. Two schooners were wrecked near Portobelo during a storm: the Lion, coming from Jamaica, and an unidentified vessel from Havana.

19. Year 1819. A large French brig, Jeune Robert, was totally lost on Sapelo Island, on the Caribbean side of the Isthmus.

20. Year 1565. During a violent northern an entire Flota was wrecked at anchorage in Nombre De Dios. This information was taken from another book listed with other facts about Nombre De Dios, so it may not be factual. The book did not disclose what was on the ships.

21. Year 1572. Drake secretly had a shipwright scuttle his ship Swan and placed the charred remains on the beach at the Isle of Pines. What island is the Isle of Pines I do not know, however it was somewhere near Nombre De Dios.


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