This is the second lecture from the ADMAT's "Excavating Shipwrecks " lecture series. This lecture talks about the forensic analysis of an unknown shipwreck right up close to the beach at Buen Hombe on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. This wreck was nearly completely buried with only the ballast pile remaining. After a forensic examination of the ships design, the cannons and the few French artefacts found on site, the fantastic story of Le Dragon was found in the French Archives. This ship was the last French warship lost in the American Revolutionary War and as the story unfolded, the great courage of the French Captain and crew became known and the secret orders from the King of France.
The captain was a French noble, Knight of Malta, who on this occasion thwarted the English Admiral Hood and his entire Caribbean fleet to deliver the secret orders and packages from the King of France to the Governor of the Dominican Republic. It cost him his ship in the process in a superb act of seamanship as he sailed it between the reefs right up the beach as he fought against an English74 gun Third Rate and a 54 gun ship.
The French wreck of Le Dragon has now been repatriated back to French ownership as a sovereign wreck of The Republic of France.
Miss Florence Prudhomme, is currently conducting her PhD thesis at Sorbonne University in Paris, France, on the life of this gallant Captain, the ship and the historic events surrounding the wrecking.