The Italian Almanac

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spanish ship

Spanish Ship

The remains of a Spanish ship that probably sank during a battle with the British off the Syracuse coastline was discovered at a depth of between five and seven meters after a tax police officer came across the relic during underwater dives. Officer Bruno Magnano alerted the Italian tax police airborne unit and together with the public regional body for naval exploration determined the exact location of the ship, and identified it was bearing five cannons, each over two meters of length. In addition, the discovery unearthed smaller weapons, intact portions of the hull, as well as dishes and bottles.

"This is an extraordinary discovery of great historical and archaeological importance", superintendent Sebastiano Tusa said when he announced the news to the public together with Colonel Costanzo Ciaprini of Palermo. Tusa added that the relic could date back to the Battle of Capo Passero, which took place on August 11, 1718 in southwestern Sicily.

"The cannons and the wooden boat sections have for now been left underwater until the restoration and conservation work is initiated," said Tusa. "A cleaning operation will take place, and then also the historical research necessary to trace the origin, age and use of the boat".