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The Spanish Galleon San Diego

The galleon San Diego was built as the trading ship San Antonio before hastily being converted into a warship. On December 14, 1600, the fully laden San Diego was engaged by the Dutch warship Mauritius under the command of Admiral Oliver van Noort a short distance away from Fortune Island, Nasugbu, Philippines. Since San Diego couldn't handle the extra weight of her cannons, which led to a permanent tilt and put the cannon portholes below sea level, she was sunk without firing a single shot in response. The Dutch were later reported firing upon and hurling lances at the survivors attempting to climb aboard the Mauritius.

Nearly 400 years later, in 1992, the wreck was discovered by French underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio and a total of 34,407 artifacts and ecofacts were recovered from the shipwreck, including Chinese porcelain, Japanese katanas, Portuguese cannon and Mexican coin. The San Diego exhibition has been on tour around the globe before it started to permanently be displayed at the new Museum of the Filipino People of The National Museum of the Philippines.

A diver measures the sunken remains of the San Diego in the South China Sea off the western Philippines. The 115-foot (35-meter) Spanish galleon went to the bottom with a rich cargo and most of its 450 men in December 1600 following a botched attempt to commandeer a Dutch pirate ship.

(Photo shot on assignment for, but not published in, "San Diego: An Account of Adventure, Deceit, and Intrigue," July 1994, National Geographic magazine). Photography by Emory Kristof. Buy a print of this photo.

Source: Wikipedia & National Geographic
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