Affidavit of Ricardo Portunato, Diver
In the Vice-Admiralty Court of Gibraltar. The Queen in Her Office of Admiralty Ag't. - The Ship or Vessel name unknown supposed to be called the Mary Celeste and her Cargo found derelict.
I, Ricardo Portunato of the City of Gibraltar, Diver make oath and say as follows:
1. I did on Monday the 23rd day of Decbr. last by direction of Thomas Joseph Vecchio Esqr. Marshal of their Honble. Court and of Mr. John Austin Surveyor of Shipping for the port of Gibraltar proceed to a ship or vessel rigged as a Brigantine and supposed to be the Mary Celeste then moored in the port of Gibraltar and under arrest in pursuance of a warrant out of their Honble. Court as having been found derelict on the high Seas for the purpose of examining the State and condition of the hull of the said vessel below her water line and of ascertaining if possible whether she had sustained any damage or injury from a collision or from having struck upon any rock or shoal or otherwise howsoever.
2. I accordingly minutely and carefully examined the whole of the hull of the said vessel and the stern keel, stern post and rudder thereof.
3. They did not nor did any or either of them exhibit any trace of damage or injury or any other appearances whatsoever indicating that the said vessel had had any collision or had struck upon any rock or shoal or had met with any accident or casualty. The hull Stern, [sic] keel Sternpost and rudder of the said vessel were thoroughly in good order and condition.
4. The said vessel was coppered the copper was in good condition and order and I am of opinion that if she had met with any such accident or casualty I shld. have been able to discover and shld. have discovered some marks or traces thereof but I was not able to discover and did not discover any.