Barry Clifford, the leader of the group of researchers, first discovered the sunken ship in 2003 near Haiti. At the time, he misdiagnosed the ship’s canon and didn’t believe it was the Santa Maria. After studying more about canons on Christopher Columbus’ ship, he realized what he may have found, reports USA Today.
According to Clifford, the ship is in a location similar to where Christopher Columbus describes the Santa Maria as having run aground. He also says that the ship is the same size as the Santa Maria and that nearby rocks could be part of the ship’s ballast stone, USA Today notes.
The ship is still in good shape and researchers believe that they will be able to excavate it mostly intact with the assistance of the Haiti government. The ship is missing some planks that were salvaged and used by a garrison at a fort established on Haiti by Christopher Columbus, CNN notes.