The 242 1/2 ton Nuestra Señora de Belén y San Antonio de Padua, nicknamed Herrera after her owner Cádiz merchant Don Luís Herrera, was built in England and was designed to carry 10 to 13 iron cannons. She transported Old World goods from Spain to trade at the Vera Cruz fair. Her return cargo consisted of animal hides, cochineal, indigo, sugar, tobacco, silver coins, and several boxes of gifts. Herrera was near the center of the fleet when it left Havana harbor. The hurricane pushed the ship over the Florida reef, but damaged and leaking, she sank near the western side of Hawk Channel. Spanish accounts place the wreck near Matecumbe El Grande (Upper Matecumbe Key) and state that her decks were flooded. Spanish divers were successful in recovering the silver coins, but the leather, tobacco, dyes, and sugar were ruined by immersion in salt water.
On a white sand bottom with patches of sea grass, Herrera lies in 20 feet of clear seawater. The mound of egg-rock ballast lies in a northwest to southeast direction. Marine life abounds and the area seems to be a nursery for fish, lobsters and other crustaceans. Sponges, anemones, wrasses, blennies, jellyfish, arrow crabs, banded coral shrimp, fire coral, urchins, damselfish, moray eels, drum, crabs, and baitfish can be readily encountered.
Location: 24° 54.326'N 80° 35.538'W