|Divers check out the Satisfaction.|
Pirate Sir Henry Morgan’s flagship Satisfaction has lain on the seabed for 340 years.
Sand and mud have swept through the wreck until just two inches of its hull were visible. But, archaeologists found the Welshman’s prize vessel in waters off Panama in the nick of time.
The U.S.-led team, which earlier this year found six iron cannons believed to be from Morgan’s once powerful fleet, said it was like chancing upon a "needle in a haystack."
Divers have now found wreckage including about 52 feet by 22 feet of a 17th-century wooden hull’s starboard side. It contains numerous unopened cargo boxes and several large coral-encrusted chest but, as yet, has yielded no treasure.
Believed to have been born in Llanrumney, Cardiff, in 1635, Sir Henry sailed to the Caribbean as a young soldier. Although widely known as a pirate, he was in fact a privateer, having the backing of the English crown to terrorize the Spanish.
After gathering enough money to captain his own ship he eventually became the "admiral" of a fleet of privateer ships, plundering wealthy Spanish cities in the Americas, seizing islands, fighting battles, boarding treasure ships and earning a fortune.
The 17th Century Welsh buccaneer’s legend lived on in books and films such as the 1935 swashbuckler "Captain Blood," starring Errol Flynn, loosely based on Morgan’s life. And he is one of the inspirations of the Hollywood blockbuster series "Pirates of the Caribbean."
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