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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Sunken Treasure Found Off Florida Coast

Aired June 3, 2003 - 19:53   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Two divers know of at least half a million reasons to go diving along Florida's so-called Treasure Coast. John Wilson and Clyde Koontiz (ph) pulled up a jewelry box from the wreck of a Spanish galion. The ship went down in 1715 and it turns out it was an only about ten to 12 feet of water. It is an amazing tale. What did they find? Bryce Daniels of station WPBF dug up the details.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRYCE DANIELS, WPBF CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What was left untouched, undisturbed for 288 years is now unearthed. A veritable treasure trove buried 12 feet deep waiting to be discovered by captain John Wilson.

JOHN WILSON, TREASURE HUNTER: I thought at first it was a gold disk because gold was transported in disks and bars.

DANIELS (on camera): When you brought it to the surface?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We knew exactly what it was. It was a high- carat, 22 carat gold jewelry box.

DANIELS (voice-over): Jam-packed with jewels.

WILSON: Emerald cross with a double chain. And two beautiful emerald rings.

DANIELS: Treasures once aboard the Nuesta Signora di Regalla, a ship similar to this one. It wrecked after a powerful hurricane in 1715. And for the past 50 years, many divers have tried to unearth the ship's treasures. None with as much success as Wilson.

WILSON: I tell you, I was really excited to find it, but I was -- it was so thrilling to open it.

DANIELS: Wilson thanks his mother whose ashes he spread near the site little more than a year ago may have had something to do with his success at sea.

WILSON: And I said, Mom, thank you for everything. Every so often, throw a little gold our way because you're out her with it. And I think she might have. I'm not sure.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Lot of bling bling. We're going to talk to some of the treasure hunters in our next hour.

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