An unknown Dutchman-class ship, dubbed the Manilla by archaeologists, is believed to have run aground in 1753 in what is now the North East Breaker dive area, where it was discovered by Harry Cox. The name derived from manillas – bronze bangles produced in Europe that served as a form of African currency used to purchase slaves from African chieftains. Shipwrecked on the reef, the 18th-century vessel went down just breakers away from the Eagle, a Virginia Company ship wrecked a century earlier in 1659 on the North East Breakers. Much later, in March 1932, the Prince David ran aground close to the Manilla before being refloated. Artifacts recovered from the Manilla have included tiny glass trade beads (see PHOTOS below), stone ginger beer bottles, pottery, glassware, and a quantity of manilla bangles.


What’s left of the lost ship at the Manilla wreck site is now located in about 15 feet of water. The wreck appears to be lying upside down. There are stacks of cannons that were overgrown with coral.when first discovered. The Manilla wreck is a stone’s throw from a huge anchor and chain discarded after the Prince David’s grounding, and the chain spans a sand hole suspended 10 feet above the sand – hovering in water between two reefs. Divers can still see plates, bottles and other refuse strewn throughout the reef from crew and passengers aboard the Prince David, who were partying prior to the ship’s refloating.


Location: 32°28'52.93"N, 64°41'18.24"W    Depth: 15 feet (4.5 meters)    Protected Area Radius - No Fishing: 300m