Published: Jul 30, 2013 6:05 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 30, 2013 6:39 PM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - What lies below the surface? A Cape Coral man believes he found a sunken pirate ship 150 years old! And what's even better, is that you don't have to be a diver to see it, because the wreck sits in only four feet of water.

Although there's no pirate's gold, the ship itself could be a treasure trove for Cape Coral. The shipwreck sits about 500 yards away from Cape Harbour. White poles surround it, to protect it from boats. 

David Carr, a history buff, and certified public accountant, was celebrating his birthday weekend in May, when he stumbled upon perhaps the best birthday present.

"It was so uncovered I could actually see the ship beams and everything else, the bowsprit, the mast," Carr said.  It's a buried treasure in the form of a shipwreck nestled among the mangroves.

"It is my belief that the keel is turned upside down making sort of a coffin lid for the sides of the wreck," Carr said. 
Carr thinks this a 150 year old British Civil War era pirate ship. "A schooner scow is what I believe we have here," he said. He believes it was captured in the area and stripped of its sails and goods. 


"The local timeline here that was filled out by the state of Florida says the USS Rosalie caught it. Which was an ex-pirate ship. So here's a pirate ship..catching a pirate ship."

State archaeologists visited the site in June, and are calling it, for now, "Carr's Cape Coral Barge Site." 

This is considered a state historical site and could eventually become a federal one. "I'm kind of doing a national plea for records of this area," said Carr.  

Tropics & Paradise at Cape Harbour is one of many businesses hoping this pirate ship strikes gold in the form of tourism dollars.

"Especially once it's open to the public as an attraction, I think it's going to bring a lot of people down here its going to benefit all the shops," said shop owner Zuzana Kohen.

If you want to learn more about the ship, visit David Carr's website at http://www.davidpcarr.com/news