Sir Francis Drake's final fleet 'discovered off the coast of Panama'






His burial at sea in full armour and in a lead casket was designed to ensure that no one – but especially the Spanish – would find his body.

Now, more than 400 years after Sir Francis Drake's death in the Caribbean, the great seafarer's watery grave may be close to being discovered.

A team of treasure hunters led by an American former basketball team owner claims to have discovered two ships from Drake's fleet lying on the seabed off the coast of Panama. The 195-ton Elizabeth and 50-ton Delight were scuttled shortly after the naval hero's death from dysentery, aged about 55, in 1596. It is thought that Drake's final resting place may be nearby.

Pat Croce, a former president of the Philadelphia 76ers and self-professed "pirate aficionado", embarked on a search for the ships after researching a book on the latter part of Drake's career, as a privateer plundering Spanish ships in the New World....



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