The State : Treasure Hunt Permit Given

The California Coastal Commission has given a marine archeologist permission to salvage the state's oldest known shipwreck, a 16th-Century treasure galleon in the muddy bottom of Drake's Bay. The commission gave unanimous approval even though its staff had recommended only a search permit be granted to Robert Marx of Indialantic, Fla. Marx, financed by private investors, intends to go after the San Agustin, which sank in 1595 during a storm while returning from the Philippines. It is believed to contain Ming Dynasty Chinese porcelain, gold, silver and jewelry. The commission refused to let Marx use a net to protect divers from sharks because it might trap sea birds, marine mammals and fish.

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