The wreck is marked by an anchor bouy about 1400 feet off the beach at a 45 deg NE angle from the end of the path to the ocean at Bauman. It's in 10 to 15 feet of water. Several cannons are found here and a plaque commemorating the disaster is found on the mooring anchor. Ballast stones are scattered all around and many tropicals make their home here. If you look closely, you can make out the grain of the wood timbers and planks in the bottom. She carried a cargo of silver wedges and dry goods. Due to her reinforced hull, she did not sink in the hurricane, but was later burned to the water line to protect the location from marauding British pirates.
Note: 20-Aug-1007, the marker bouy is back. It's on the Monument. Thanks to Bob and Em and the Venture Crew Scout Group!
Maps of the area: ( 205 k low res ). These maps show the location of Pepper Park in Ft. Pierce just north of the inlet. it shows the relative position of the wreck of the Urca to the north of Pepper Park and to the south of the first condo.
State of Florida
data on the Urca and other old shipwrecks:
1715 Plate Fleet , possibly the URCA de Lima
Location: 14.5 mi south of SR60 or about 1/4 mile north of Pepper Park from
Summary: on 12-Aug-2007 a group of a dozen divers searched the seas for the Urca de Lima off of Ft Pierce. We found it, and obtained several GPS readings for parts found. Some members obtained a marker buoys from the State of Florida and re-placed it on the Monument.
Details: The Urca de Lima sunk in 1715 just north of Pepper Park in Ft Pierce, Florida. The State had marked its location with buoys, which have disappeared several times and were replaced. The hurricanes of 2005 also removed the buoys. I've made a few attempts to re-find the wreck, but had been unsuccessful. In 2006, an explorer scout group that's into diving [ the Melbourne Venture Crew ] joined in on the search [ while lobster hunting ]. The GPS co-ordinates I had from previous years did not yield the wreck. One diver spotted the anchor briefly, but did not get a good location mark on it.
So, after contacting the State of Florida [ who also did not know where the wreck was ], I organized a "Search For The Urca Group" for 2007. This included members of my Beach Dive Group and the Venture Crew. The first two attempts were canceled due to bad weather [ you need flat seas and west winds for good beach dive visibility ]. The third attempt gave us Good Weather.
For many years, Bauman Apartments just north of Pepper Park has let us use their empty lot on the ocean to access the Urca. It's a short 1500 ft swim from the end of the lot path to the Urca. From Pepper Park, it's much longer. Their info is:
and I recommend staying there if your interested in an inexpensive weekend of diving. It's an older and small complex, but it's also 1500 ft from a 300 year old wreck!
This is a Great, small, inexpensive apartment place to rent for a weekend of Beach Diving. Just a few hundred feet from your room to the beach! There is a water spiqot and shower at the far east end of the field and a boardwalk going down to the beach!
We had a kayaker mark the previous bad GPS Urca locations and put out four buoys in a box south of this location to help with the search. The scout group was to perform a sweeping line search. Myself and several other divers were going to search around the marker area. We had searched that area last year and did not find anything.
It wasn't long into the search that we found the anchor, a cement moring block, and 4 cannon. We marked each and had the kayaker take GPS readings. From these, I've generated an up-to-date satellite picture map of the site. We sent the readings into the State of Florida for them to update their records. The State in turn, send a new mouring buoy to the scout group and they put it on the cement monument which the found on their next trip out.
Dive Trip Where we Re-Found the Urca 12-Aug-07 , and some New Pics and Location Maps
Urca Location from dive on 12-Aug-2007
N 27 30.311 W 080 17.959 4 Cannon - 3 in a row, one to the south of the 2nd
N 27 30.321 W 080 17.976 Cement Marker - NW Mouring Bouy
N 27 30.313 W 080 17.978 Anchor - fluke end towards NE
N.27.50544 W. 80.29931 Monument with mouring bouy
Anchor-1 , Anchor-2 , Anchor-3 , Anchor-4
Cannon-1 , Cannon-2 ,
Ballast Stones-1 , Ballast Stones-2 , Ballast Stones-3
Previous Dive Trip Reports: 19-June-1999 - Em's Report - 11-Sept-1999 - 25-June-2000 - 26-Aug-2001 - 06-July-2002 - 12-Aug-06
1st Official Beach Dive for the Bacardi Limon Beach Dive Team 09-June-2001
Pepper Park and Urca de Lima Map
Other Dives - The Pirate Ship is located a few hundred yards south of Treasure Shores Park 14-Aug-99
Last Updated: 07-Sept-2007
Irishman AT IrishmanSoftware DOT com