Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2007
During the show, divers searching for the wrecksite of the Margarita are scheduled to be at the Keys pavilion (booths 1166-1175), displaying artifacts and treasure found along the trail of the shipwreck.
In June, salvors from Blue Water Ventures Key West (www.bluewaterventureskw.com) recovered artifacts and treasure — including two gold bars, eight gold chains with a combined length of about 30 feet and a lead box containing more than 5,000 pearls — buried beneath the ocean floor in approximately 18 feet of water about 40 miles west of Key West.
Blue Water's search for Margarita treasure is being conducted under a joint-venture agreement with Motivation Inc., headed by Kim Fisher, son of the late salvor Mel Fisher who recovered scores of Margarita artifacts in the early 1980s.
Blue Water CEO Keith Webb, head archaeologist Dr. R. Duncan Mathewson and salvage boat captains Dan Porter and Greg Bounds are to be at the Keys pavilion to tell the story of their search.
Before DEMA ends Nov. 3, one delegate is to be awarded an archaeological treasure dive trip for two to the working Margarita site during the 2008 salvage season. The prize also includes accommodations for three nights at the Doubletree Grand Key Resort (http://www.grandkeyresort.com) in Key West.
Mathewson is to sign copies of his book, “Treasure of the Atocha,” at the Keys pavilion and books are to be given away to DEMA delegates during daily drawings.
Other incentives to visit the Keys pavilion include:
• Industry professionals who visit the Keys pavilion also can register to win a weeklong dive trip to the Florida Keys during the “Drive and Dive” contest to be held during the show. The prize for two includes dive charters and accommodations in each Keys region, as well as a rental car and ScubaPro dive equipment to use and own.
• The first 500 DEMA attendees who register at the Keys pavilion for the contest are to receive a collector’s lapel pin featuring Key West marine artist David Harrison Wright’s (www.davidharrisonwright.com) interpretation of what the former U.S. Air Force missile-tracking ship Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg should look like after the 524-foot vessel is scuttled off Key West. That sinking is planned for spring 2008.
• Underwater photographer Stephen Frink’s signing sessions of his new 2008 Florida Keys pictorial calendar in the Keys pavilion at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, and Thursday, Nov. 1. Calendars are complimentary to DEMA badgeholders during the show while supplies last.
For more information about the Florida Keys & Key West, visit www.fla-keys.com