Associated Press reports:
Marine archaeologists have found the remains of a slave ship wrecked off the Turks and Caicos Islands, an accident that set free the ancestors of many current residents of those islands.
Some 192 Africans survived the sinking of the Spanish ship Trouvadore off the British-ruled islands, where the slave trade was banned.
The ship had been forgotten, so when the discovery connected the ship to current residents the first response "was a kind of shock," said researcher Don Keith.
"The people of the Turks and Caicos have a direct line to this dramatic, historic event- it's how so many of them ended up being here," he said.
The team was able to determine that authorities on the islands apprenticed the Africans to trades for a year and then allowed them to settle on the islands, many on Grand Turk. The ships Spanish crew was arrested and turned over to authorities in Cuba, then a Spanish colony.