Salvage team searches for Sir Francis Drake off the coast of Panama

A salvage team has discovered the wreckage of two ships off the coast of Panama that once belonged to naval legend Sir Francis Drake. The ships have not yielded up any treasure, but the team believes that their discovery may lead to finding the remains of the British sailor as well.

Drake earned his place in history when he became the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe in 1580. That was an impressive feat in and of itself, but he became a true hero when he defeated the mighty Spanish Armada in 1588, securing British supremacy of the seas for decades to come. In early 1596 he died of dysentery, and according to his wishes, he was dressed in full armor and placed inside a lead coffin, before receiving a burial at sea.

The two ships that were recently discovered near Panama, the Elizabeth and the Delight, were stripped of all items of value and scuttled by Drake’s crew following his death. It is believed that his watery resting place is not far from where those ships went down however, and the 12-member salvage crew is hoping to soon discover the remains of Drake himself. It took just one week of searching to find the privateer’s missing ships, and they’re hoping to have fortune smile upon them once again.

Locating Drake’s body would be a significant historical find, but it’s unclear what the team would do were they to come across his remains. The legendary captain wished to be buried at sea and it seems wrong to disturb that resting place now. Perhaps they’ll simply take some photos and record his location, leaving him where he is for eternity. After all, it only seems fitting for one of the greatest naval commanders of all time to be resting at the bottom of the ocean.