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Duke of Argyll’s divers to search for £30 million treasure

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More than 400 years after a Spanish galleon loaded with gold and silver sank off Mull, an aristocrat has launched a new mission to recover its treasure.

Divers will next week begin to sift through the silt of Tobermory Bay in an attempt to find the £30million cargo, reputed to have been funding for the ill-fated Spanish invasion of England in 1588.

It is the fourth time that Sir Torquhil Ian Campbell, the 13th Duke of Argyll, has mounted a search for the battle-scarred treasure ship.

His family was given the rights to the wreck by Charles I, and has made 60 attempts to retrieve the lost fortune over the centuries.

Following the armada’s defeat at the hands of Sir Francis Drake, many Spanish ships fled north, only to become caught up in violent storms.

Exactly how the Almirante di Florencia or the San Juan de Sicilia – the vessel’s exact identity has never been established – foundered in Tobermory Bay is unknown.

Legend has it that the ship was blown up after the Spaniards stocked up for their onward journey and tried to leave on November 5, 1588, without paying for their supplies.

It is said Donald Maclean of Duart boarded it and ignited its powder magazine, sending 350 Spaniards and the bullion to the bottom of the sea.

The latest two-month search for the treasure ship will be undertaken by a 10 strong team from The Poop Company in Somerset.

Director Matthew French yesterday revealed that the duke, would not be the sole beneficiary if any treasure is found as the operation is being bankrolled by investors.

Mr French said: “We have a contract with the duke to undertake this work on his behalf, but it is not funded by him, it is funded by various investors. He would receive the cash, but they would see a reward. We have an agreement.”

He confirmed that he was a small investor in the project but declined to name the other interested parties.

Having searched the bay in 2008, 2009 and 2010, Mr French said they thought it was “worth another go”, adding: “It is unfinished business. We hope there is something worth recovering for the owner. The duke is quite hopeful but he knows no more than we do. There is nothing in his records to indicate anything we do not already know.”

 

Source: www.express.co.uk

Marine Life & Conservation

Join us in supporting Dive Project Cornwall Crowdfunder Project

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Do you have a moment to help protect our oceans?

We’re on a mission and have partnered with DIVE PROJECT CORNWALL to help protect our oceans for future generations to cherish and enjoy.

DIVE PROJECT CORNWALL is a unique EDUCATION and EXPERIENCE initiative, reaching over 3,000 schools with their Ocean Education Programme, inspiring the next generation to protect our oceans for everyone to cherish and enjoy.

At the heart of the project is a competition for 400 lucky teenagers to win the EXPERIENCE of a lifetime. They will take the learning from the classroom straight to the shores of Porthkerris on a 6-day, life changing trip where they will learn to scuba dive and be taught the importance of marine conservation. They will become ‘Ocean Influencers’ for the future.

DIVE PROJECT CORNWALL needs our help.

Can you join us with a gift to DIVE PROJECT CORNWALL?

Whether it’s £5 or £50, a gift from you to the DIVE PROJECT CORNWALL Crowdfunder Project will help their vision of protecting our oceans through the innovative experience designed for school children.

Will you join us and pledge to support 400 lucky teenagers learn from and EXPERIENCE the ocean like never before and give them an EDUCATION they can use to inspire others, not forgetting the memories that will last a lifetime?

For more information, you can read the DIVE PROJECT CORNWALL story HERE.

Help us create the next generation of Ocean Influencers with a donation to DIVE PROJECT CORNWALL and ensure our oceans (and planet) are protected for the future.

WWW.CROWDFUNDER.CO.UK/P/DIVE-PROJECT-CORNWALL

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Marine Life & Conservation

Spring jellyfish blooms bring turtles to UK shores

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Marine Conservation Society’s wildlife sightings project asks beachgoers to share their discoveries and contribute to research

The Marine Conservation Society’s long-running wildlife sightings project focuses on two key species which arrive on UK shores: jellyfish and, as a result, turtles. Both species are vital in supporting ocean biodiversity and are indicators of climate change while being at risk from its impacts.

The charity is asking beach and seagoers to share when they spot either of these marine animals to support ongoing research.

During spring and summer, jellyfish arrive in the UK’s warming waters to feed on plankton blooms or, in fact, anything small enough to get caught. To that extent, jellyfish feed not only on plankton, but also the array of eggs and larvae of fish, crustaceans, starfish and molluscs which rely on plankton as a stage of reproduction.

With healthy fish stocks and rich biodiversity, jellyfish quickly become part of an effective food chain. Everything from tuna to turtles will feed on jellyfish of various sizes, so the population is well controlled. Supported by a rich and diverse ocean ecosystem, jellyfish link the microscopic world of plankton to larger marine animals and the ocean around them.

Jellyfish are especially appealing for marine turtles. Six of the world’s seven marine turtle species have been spotted in UK seas as a result of jellyfish blooms in spring and summer.

The largest sea turtle, and the most common in UK seas, is the leatherback which has a ‘vulnerable’ conservation status. Reporting sightings of these incredible creatures will support the Marine Conservation Society and others in understanding their movements, potential threats and how to better protect them.

Amy Pilsbury, Citizen Science Project Lead at the Marine Conservation Society, said:“For more than 17 years, beachgoers across the UK have been contributing to scientific research by sharing their wildlife sightings with us. It’s a key part of our work and plays a vital role in better understanding and protecting our ocean.”

In 2014, with partners from the University of Exeter, the Marine Conservation Society published the first paper from the survey data, confirming key information about UK jellyfish and including the first distribution maps of the surveyed species.

Since the 2014 paper, the wildlife sightings project has recorded notable events such as massive and extensive annual blooms of barrel jellyfish and several summers of Portuguese Man o’ War mass strandings.

The charity continues to run its wildlife sightings project to see what happens to the distribution and frequency of mass jellyfish blooms over time. The data will help to explore any links jellyfish blooms have with big-picture factors such as climate change.

Jellyfish can be spotted year-round in UK seas, but larger blooms are more likely to appear in spring, lasting through until autumn. Jellyfish sighting records from 2021 suggest that compass jellyfish are the most common around UK shores, making up 36% of reported sightings.

Jellyfish species Percentage of sightings reported
Compass jellyfish 36%
Moon jellyfish 17%
Lion’s mane jellyfish 15%
Barrel jellyfish 14%
Blue jellyfish 9%
Portuguese Man o’ War 6%
Mauve stinger 2%
By the wind sailor 1%

For more information on how to identify jellyfish and turtles, and to report a sighting, please visit the Marine Conservation Society’s website.

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