Founded by Dr. Clive Cussler, the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA) is a non-profit, volunteer foundation dedicated to preserving our maritime heritage through the discovery, archaeological survey and conservation of shipwreck artifacts.

Clive Cussler, Founder of NUMA

Tracking Trails of Sunken Treasure (Part 1)

Treasure from the sunken galleons of the 1715 fleet.

Treasure from the sunken galleons of the 1715 fleet.

Sand spewed around me in small clouds as a combo mini-hurricane and tornado spawned an underwater storm amid a blue-green sea. I grabbed a rock out-cropping and gently exhaled until my chest touched the bottom bringing me eye to eye with clumps of seaweed bent over by strong surges cast from the boat above.

The mailbox and compressor hoses resembled a giant medusa, its dark inner sanctum flanked by black tentacles that tethered treasure salvor John Halas and me to the boat. At a depth of 15 feet, I had plenty of slack in my air line which enabled me to roam around the perimeter of the crater like a mining inspector checking out his prospector’s progress. Schools of chubs and porgies joined me, their mouths gulping minute marine life stirred up from the sand by the blasts of water. more »

Shy Savannah is Sanctuary for Shipwrecks

Subway cars from one of many artificial reefs.

Subway cars from one of many artificial reefs.

Why is Savannah so shy in promoting its excellent dive sites which haven’t been reviewed in scuba diving publications for years? And why does it seem to be a best kept secret, sort of like a dark horse that gallops in the shadows of a plethora of enticing shipwrecks?

“Lots of reasons,” says Capt. Jerry Sapp, a former U.S. Navy diver who operated a dive charter boat for more than 25 years. “First of all, our best diving is 30 to 50 miles offshore where clear, warm waters veer in from the Gulf Stream to attract fish and other marine life to our wrecks. Experienced divers, especially those who spearfish, know our sites. They’re used to the two to three-hour boat rides, strong currents and increased charter prices. Basically, we’re talking about experienced, hard-core divers who want to chase Goliath grouper, snapper, mackerel and amberjack, just to name a few of the popular species. Divers encounter everything from lobsters to turtles, sharks, barracuda, stingrays, bottle-nosed dolphins and much more. It’s all in 80 to 130 feet of pristine waters.” more »

Juno Beach Galleon Embroiled in Permit Battle

Is the Juno Beach wreck the "last galleon"?

Is the Juno Beach wreck the “last galleon”?

When Nelson Waite, a commercial diver searching for fish and lobsters off Juno Beach, Florida, discovered what was later identified as one of the oldest Spanish wrecks in our waters, he wasn’t too impressed. In fact, he thought the artifact—an anchor with a 12-foot shank and large flukes—was from a relatively recent vessel. It appeared too elongated and wasn’t extremely covered with marine growth. He gave it one more glance as he glided by on his diver propulsion vehicle, then left and never thought about it until 10 years later. more »

Emerald Wreck is Gem of Jersey Shore

The Francis Wright under sail.

The Francis Wright under sail.

“Is she is or is she ain’t my baby? Is my baby still my baby now?!” This refrain from an old ditty could be the theme song for a select group of East Coast divers who think they’ve found the remains of the Francis Wright. Or, could it be the Alexander Oldham?

The debate began over a site some call the “Gem of New Jersey,” or better still the “Emerald Wreck,” a small coastal freighter discovered in the early 1970s by George Hoffman and Charlie Stratton. Hoffman salvaged tons of copper and brass, all affected by a salt water chemical reaction that turned everything “emerald green.” Other divers have salvaged green glass ginger ale bottles that “glisten like emeralds” when cleaned and displayed. more »

Theo’s Wreck Unveils a Shroud of Mystery

Theo Wreck - Sinking (credit UNEXSO)

Theo Wreck – Sinking (credit UNEXSO)

Theo Galanoupoulos isn’t exactly a household name in diving, but thanks to him, thousands of divers have visited one of the best dive sites in the Bahama Islands. His efforts to save a rusting hulk from the wrecking ball have been lauded for more than 30 years. Naming the wreck after him was a no-brainer, otherwise divers would have visited the M/V Island Cement or the M/S Logna—two official names given to the ship over its 28-years of service.

The 230-foot steel hull freighter was launched in Norway in 1954 and christened M/S Logna. It transported general cargo between Norway and Spain until 1969 when it was sold to the Island Cement Company, Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, where it was converted to a bulk carrier. Renamed M/V Island Cement, the vessel hauled sand, gravel and cement from Florida to its port of entry, New Providence (Nassau) and other islands. more »


photo of Clive Cussler © Los Angeles Photographer Rob Greer