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Underwater Explorers: We Found the Santa María, Christopher Columbus’s Ship

A group of underwater explorers say they believe they have located the missing remains of Christopher Columbus’ flagship, the Santa María, more than five centuries after it wrecked in the Caribbean Sea.

The Independent reported that the team of explorers said they found the wreck’s remains on the sea’s floor off the north coast of Haiti.

"All the geographical, underwater topography and archaeological evidence strongly suggests that this wreck is Columbus' famous flagship, the Santa Maria," said the leader of a recent reconnaissance expedition to the site, one of America's top underwater archaeological investigators, Barry Clifford.

"The Haitian government has been extremely helpful -- and we now need to continue working with them to carry out a detailed archaeological excavation of the wreck," he said.

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Clifford said the shipwreck’s remains were found in the same area where Columbus claimed the Santa María ran aground in December of 1492, four months after it departed from a Spanish port in search for a new route to the East, according to CNN.

Clifford was led to the site by using information from Christopher Columbus’ diary, according to The Independent. He went back over some photos taken of the site in 2003 before he and his team returned to the location this month to verify the discovery.

"I am confident that a full excavation of the wreck will yield the first ever detailed marine archaeological evidence of Columbus' discovery of America."

This is not Clifford’s first major underwater discovery, according to The Washington Post, which reported that Clifford was responsible for finding what may be the only verified pirate shipwreck in 1984.

There is still no word on the Nina or Pinta, the two other ships that were part of Columbus’ fleet.

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