(ANSA) - Palermo, October 11 - The remains of a Spanish
ship that probably sank during a battle with the British off the
Syracuse coastline was discovered at a depth of between five and
seven meters after a tax police officer came across the relic
during underwater dives.
Officer Bruno Magnano alerted the Italian tax police
airborne unit and together with the public regional body for
naval exploration determined the exact location of the ship, and
identified it was bearing five cannons, each over two meters of
In addition, the discovery unearthed smaller weapons,
intact portions of the hull, as well as dishes and bottles.
"This is an extraordinary discovery of great historical and
archaeological importance", superintendent Sebastiano Tusa said
when he announced the news to the public together with Colonel
Costanzo Ciaprini of Palermo.
Tusa added that the relic could date back to the Battle of
Capo Passero, which took place on August 11, 1718 in
"The canons and the wooden boat sections have for now been
left underwater until the restoration and conservation work is
initiated," said Tusa.
"A cleaning operation will take place, and then also the
historical research necessary to trace the origin, age and use
of the boat".