P Mel Fisher parade

Treasure salvor Mel Fisher arrives by Pedi-Cab to his party celebrating the proclamation of Mel Fisher Day in Key West on July 20, 1998.

Four centuries ago this September, the legendary Spanish treasure galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha, along with several other 1622 fleet vessels, met their fate in a “storme and fearfull tempest” in the Florida Straits.

In 1985, the world watched in wonder as treasure hunter Mel Fisher and his “Golden Crew” capped off a dramatic 16-year search with the discovery of the Atocha’s rich primary cultural deposit — the Mother Lode, 23 miles off of Key West.