ORLANDO, Fla. – Hurricane Nicole devastated parts of Florida’s coastline, but it also churned up the sea and spit out long-lost treasure.
While the wind was still whipping our state, Jonah Martinez and his daughter, Kaylee Martinez, set their sights on the sand.
“When the cold fronts or the hurricanes come up, we usually get an opportunity to go out there and look for stuff that has been lost. Mother Nature does a job and erodes the sand away and if you are in the right place at the right time, you never know what you are going to find,” Jonah Martinez said.
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The pair said they found a lot of junk, but they also uncovered gold coins.
Florida’s Fourth Estate host Ginger Gadsden asked them if they “found a sweet spot, and where is it?”
But co-host Matt Austin chimed in before they could dish out the details, saying, “I’m not going to let you answer that.”
“Through the 30 years of doing this, I have found many sweet spots and I can tell you that when I find them, they are sweet and when I leave them there is not much for anyone else to find,” Jonah Martinez said.
But he added you can look around online to find information on how to succeed at finding treasures along the coast like he has.
“Little by little, Kaylee’s got involved with this and it’s kind of something now that we are doing and she’s just having fun with it too,” he added.
And she’s not just having fun; her Dad said she also uncovered several coins.
“It was a totally new feeling, just holding this piece of treasure and this piece of history that hasn’t been held in 300 years,” she said. “It’s just mind-boggling.”
Her dad said it’s an incredible find, especially considering how often he goes out to search for treasure and comes up empty-handed.
“The chances that you actually do are very, very slim, so you gotta have that “no-finds” or the “treas-aren’ts” before you have the “treas-are,” Jonah Martinez said.
It was a pun that left his daughter with her hand palmed to her face.
Along the way, Jonah Martinez said he has also found “wedding rings, GoPros, sunglasses, cellphones, hand grenades, bullets... World War II stuff” and more.
But his best find was back in 2015 when he said he uncovered about $6.5 million worth of gold coins.
Learn more about the daddy-daughter hurricane treasure hunters on Florida’s Fourth Estate. You can download it from wherever you listen to podcasts.
You can also watch it anytime on News 6+.