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These hunters use the forecast to help them find treasure

Thursday, February 27th 2020, 4:21 pm - Sometimes, a storm is all you need.

You don't always need a map to find buried treasure. Sometimes a general knowledge of an area and a stormy forecast will do the trick.

That's how a group of friends in Florida uncovered a trove of silver coins that are over 300 years old.

Most people vacate the beach when stormy weather approaches, but not this trio of hunters. When rain moves along Hutchinson Island, they head out to the sand and start digging.

"When we have these storms they move the light material and drop the heavy stuff," Jonah Martinez told CNN.

"When the surf gets laid down, our boats are able to work more efficiently."

For 24 years, treasure hunters like Martinez have been finding Spanish coins in the area. His latest find happened Friday when he and two friends uncovered nearly two dozen of them along Wabasso's Turtle Trail Beach.

Belt buckles, daggers, cutlery, porcelain, and household items were also dredged up by the storm.

Martinez says the value of his group's finds have added up to between $13 and $15 million in recoveries over the past two decades.

Martinez estimates the 22 coins are worth about $5,000 -- but he and his friends don't sell them.

They keep them as artifacts or donate them to museums.

This treasure is believed to be from the 1715 treasure fleet wreck involving eleven Spanish ships. It was returning from Cuba when it wrecked during a hurricane.

"A hurricane came and pushed them all onto the reefs of the Treasure Coasts. And that is why we are called the Treasure Coasts because of these shipwrecks," Nichole Johanson of Mel Fishers Treasure Museum explains.

Johanson, whose grandfather was the main salvager of the shipwrecks, believes there's more treasure in the water.

They're just waiting for the right storm to bring them back to the surface.

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