Captain Morgan’s pirate ship found near Panama


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In an apt collision of science and marketing, American archaeologists say they have found the wreckage of one of Captain Morgan’s pirate ships off the coast of Panama.

The kicker? The archaeologists’ search was paid for in part by the maker of Captain Morgan’s Rum.


The ship was discovered near the Lajas Reef, where Morgan lost five ships in 1671 during a bloody battle to capture Panama City for England and loosen Spain’s stronghold in the Caribbean.

An underwater archaeological team that included members from Texas State University, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Waitt Institute and the Instituto Nacional de Cultura in Panama has been combing these waters for shipwrecked treasures since 2008. Early in their search they found six iron cannons that appear to have been part of Morgan’s arsenal, but then the group ran out of money. That’s when Captain Morgan USA stepped in.

‘When the opportunity arose for us to help make this discovery mission possible, it was a natural fit for us to get involved. The artifacts uncovered during this mission will help bring Henry Morgan and his adventures to life in a way never thought possible,’ said Tom Herbst, brand director of Captain Morgan USA, in a statement.

With the infusion of the corporate Captain Morgan’s money, the group was able to fund a magnetometer survey that looks for metal by finding deviations in the earth’s magnetic field. That’s what led the team to uncover the starboard side of a wooden ship’s hull. And real sunken treasure: A series of unopened cargo boxes and chests encrusted in coral.

Imagine the marketing possibilities if they hold liquor.


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--Deborah Netburn