In early 2018 Matthew Samuel, a consultant to the City of Fort Pierce, Florida approached longtime friend and Fort Pierce native, historical shipwreck salvor Capt. John Brandon, who is Operations Manager for 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels, LLC, about the possibility of raising and conserving an iron cannon from the 1715 fleet for future display along the Fort Pierce downtown water front. Capt. Brandon agreed, and with agreement from the U.S. District Admiralty Court, the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, as well as agreement from 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels, LLC principles George Friedel and Ric Harshman, it was decided to undertake this project. With the help of another Fort Pierce native, Capt. Dan Porter, and his historic shipwreck salvage vessel the M/V Seatrepid, on August 13, 2018 a cannon was recovered from the 1715 fleet wreck site known as the Sandy Point Wreck (8IR20/S23). This wreck site is located just off the coast and just to the north of Fort Pierce. After undergoing a three year conservation process, under Capt. Brandon’s direction, the cannon is now undergoing its final preservation procedures and is expected to be displayed along the Fort Pierce water front in the near future.
From Left: Cannon Project Director for the City of Fort Pierce Matthew Samuel, Photographer Crystal Samuel, (Unidentified), 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels, LLC Operations Manager historical shipwreck salvor Capt. John Brandon, Fort Pierce Mayor Linda Hudson, Fort Pierce Police Chief Diane Hobley-Burney, and members of the Fort Pierce Police Department, as well as Fort Pierce Grounds and Division Manager Paul Bertram (orange shirt, in background) watch as the 1715 fleet Sandy Point cannon is readied for its final conservation work.
From left, metals expert and welder Aaron Netherton, who will do some of the final conservation procedures on the cannon, Matthew Samuel, Capt. John Brandon and Paul Bertram discuss the final work to be done before the cannon can be displayed along the downtown Fort Pierce water front.