Editor’s note: Under Florida law, people who want to explore or recover artifacts on state-owned land underwater must obtain a permit.
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – A film crew down to around 12 kept quiet during their visit to the Treasure Coast, but now the secret is out.
History Channel’s “Beyond Oak Island” recorded an episode about the treasure fleet of 1715 a few months ago in Indian River County, staying and filming at Captain Hiram Complex in Sebastian featured in season opening episode tuesday.
Resort staffers were kept in the dark about the shooting for the most part, marketing coordinator Johnny Desimone said, and there was an unspoken nondisclosure agreement not to spill the beans to residents.
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Management coordinated filming, meals and the crew’s stay at the resort, Desimone added, but there wasn’t much interaction between the film crew and resort staff. All in all, it was an unforgettable experience.
“It was really awesome,” Desimone said. “Being able to be part of the History Channel on your own is amazing, but being featured was even more of an honor.”
1715 Fleet of Spanish Wrecks
“Beyond Oak Island” follows brothers Rick and Marty Lagina as they shed light on the world’s best treasure hunting spots.
The last episode brought the two to the Treasure Coast, where Indian River County resident and professional treasure hunter Gary Drayton joined the brothers on a metal-detecting expedition along local beaches for 1,715 fleet artifacts .
The 1715 fleet consists of 11 Spanish ships that sank in a hurricane, later inspiring the name Treasure Coast. Treasure-laden ships are now strewn across the ocean floor, from Sebastian to the St. Lucia Nuclear Power Plant.
Drayton has amassed quite a collection of artifacts from the 1715 fleet, as the episode shows, including his most impressive find: an emerald ring believed to have belonged to Queen Isabella.
The group searched near the wreck of Corrigan, believed to be just south of what is now Turtle Trail Beach. No treasure was found, but Drayton did find what he believed to be a piece of aluminum from the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1983.
Everyone then met for lunch at Captain Hiram’s Blackfin Restaurant, where they were joined by Captain John Brandon of 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels LLC, a Sebastian-based shipwreck salvage operation.
The next day, the party again scoured the beaches about a mile south near the 1715 salvage camp and had better luck – discovering a rare copper bridge tip from the 1715 fleet, verified by experts from the McLarty Treasure Museum in Vero Beach.
This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: The History Channel show on the 1715 fleet features Capt. Hiram’s Resort