The Leg at the Bottom of the Sea
Teenage diver Sebastian Morris and his dad were hunting for treasure in the Gulf of Mexico when they found a below-the-knee prosthetic. How do you lose that in the ocean? Amazingly, they solved the mystery.
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On May 4, 2020, with the pandemic turning his life upside down, 13-year-old Sebastian Morris needed a break. Bright and amiable, with long brown hair and wraparound shades, Sebastian lived in Santa Rosa Beach and enjoyed the usual Florida-boy fare—swimming, snorkeling, and hanging with his buddies, who nicknamed themselves the Tribe.
That morning, as Sebastian watched the rippling waves coming in at St. Andrews State Park—more than 1,200 acres of shorefront and dunes just east of the town of Panama City Beach—he couldn’t wait to go diving with his dad, Bobby, a blond-haired 46-year-old who was loading up a rented pontoon boat.
Bobby had parlayed his passion for diving into a career as a commercial diver and remote-operated-vehicle pilot. The work is adventurous and challenging—he’d done everything from searching for a sunken helicopter to cleaning up after the British Petroleum oil spill. It’s also dangerous. One time while Bobby was torch-cutting an underwater structure damaged during Hurricane Katrina, he briefly got knocked unconscious by an explosion.
But what really captured Sebastian’s imagination were the treasures his father occasionally found on the job, including a 300-year-old ship he discovered in 2019, deep in the Black Sea near Turkey. “I was like, man, I kind of want to do that,” Sebastian says.
“All he’s ever wanted to be is a treasure hunter,” Bobby confirms. As they set out into the Gulf of Mexico, Sebastian imagined all the amazing things they might find.