The Sunshine State has a rich maritime history spanning more than five centuries. Tragically, part of that history includes thousands of ships that have met their fates in Florida waters. Potentially more than 5,000 shipwrecks reside off Florida’s 1,200 miles of coastline, with hundreds more lost in the state’s interior rivers. In and of itself, the Florida Keys archipelago, consisting of approximately 1,700 islands stretching 200 miles, is littered with the remains of close to 1,000 shipwrecks. In fact, many features of the Florida Keys were named after various shipwreck events, such as Fowey Rocks, which earned its name after the 1748 wrecking of the British warship HMS Fowey, and Alligator Reef, where the schooner USS Alligator met her demise in 1822. Florida’s Shipwrecks utilizes captivating images to illustrate dramatic stories of danger and peril at sea, introducing readers to a fascinating cross-section of Florida’s shipwreck history.
Author Michael Barnette has been actively researching and exploring shipwrecks for almost 20 years, resulting in the identification of more than 17 shipwrecks. He has dived on numerous historic shipwrecks, including the ironclad USS Monitor, the liner Andrea Doria, the battleship USS Virginia, and the HMHS Britannic, a sister ship of the fabled RMS Titanic.