IU scientists to help in ‘Santa Maria’ exploration

Indiana University
(WISH file photo)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana University scientist who’s based in the Caribbean says the school’s underwater researchers will help investigate a shipwreck that could be the remains of the famed Santa Maria.

Charles Beeker is director of IU’s Office of Underwater Science and Academic Diving. He’s currently in the Dominican Republic overseeing research that’s part of his more than two decades of work in the region.

Beeker says explorer Barry Clifford’s discovery of a shipwreck off adjacent Haiti’s northern coast that could be the Santa Maria looks “very compelling.” He says IU underwater researchers will conduct a full investigation of the site as early as this summer.

Clifford said Tuesday that evidence suggests the wreck is the Santa Maria, Christopher Columbus’ flagship vessel that struck a reef and foundered on Christmas Day, 1492.

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