A Bermudian diver and treasure hunter with 70 years diving experience who was the inspiration for writer Peter Benchley’s 1976 best-seller The Deep, has written a book of his own chronicling his maritime adventures.
In the 416-page hardcover book, A Diver’s Life, Teddy Tucker, now in his 80s, employs 326 photographs and illustrations to detail his exploits discovering more than 250 shipwrecks, more than half of them found in the reefs around Bermuda.
Tucker has been diving on shipwrecks in Bermuda and around the world since the late 1940s.
The book’s cover is graced by the single most valuable treasure discovery Tucker uncovered — an emerald-studded 18-karat gold crucifix. Tucker discovered the cross, dubbed the Tucker Cross, in 1955 amidst the remains of what is believed to be the shipwreck of the 350-ton Spanish galleon San Pedro off Bermuda.
The San Pedro was part of the Nueva Espana Flota on a voyage from Cartagena to Cadiz and under the command of Capt. Hieronimo de Porras when it was wrecked in November of 1594.
The Tucker Cross, which had been on display at the Bermuda Aquarium, was found to have been stolen just before Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to an exhibit of Tucker’s treasure finds when she opened the Bermuda Maritime Museum in 1975. The cross had been moved from the aquarium to the museum for the dedication.
It was revealed that the cross had been stolen and replaced with a replica. To this day, no one knows who stole the Tucker Cross or how the switch was made. The cross has never been recovered.
To order a signed copy of A Diver’s Life, contact Victoria Flood, manager, Oceans Gift Shop, Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, by telephone at 441-297-7243, or email the business at firstname.lastname@example.org. The book is priced at $59.95.
More on Tucker can be found at www.teddytucker.com. ■