Today’s exploration of the Ulster Museum permanent exhibit “Treasures from the Girona” begins with the account of a survivor.
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He was extremely fortunate to escape with his life. After Calais, the attack of the English fireships, the Spanish ships suffered repeated North Atlantic storms, driven onto the irregular coast of which they had no knowledge or charts. It was with the assistance of Irish natives the survivors were able to regroup and embark on an ill-fated escape.
The reason for the heavy losses from the Girona wreck was the crew from several other ruined ships were on board.
The individuality of the lost comes across through their gold trimmings. It is said that wealthy Spaniards owned up to four sets of gold buttons, each with a different design.