NorCal Coast Shipwreck Doc to Air on PBS

The San Agustin sank off Point Reyes in 1595 and is believed to be the first on the West Coast.

A 16th Century coastal Northern California shipwreck — believed to be the first on the West Coast — is the subject of a PBS documentary that will air this week.

“The San Agustin: California Shipwreck” will air on PBS affiliate KQED-TV San Francisco tonight, Jan. 22 at 11 pm and again on Sunday, Jan. 26 at 3 pm on KQED-TV.

The half-hour documentary, produced by Marin County resident George Thelen of Thelen Creative, highlights the journey of the legendary Spanish galleon San Agustin, which sank off Point Reyes in 1595.

Thelen is a freelance content producer who recently led the creation of the Marin History Museum’s award-winning mobile Application and audio documentary series. 

More than 70 survivors were stranded in an unfamiliar land when the ship sank during a storm off coastal Marin County in 1595.

Captain Sebastian Rodriguez Cermeño piloted the surviving crew more than 1,500 miles back to Mexico, (what was then called “New Spain”) using only a small craft the galleon had carried with her for exploration.

The shipwreck has never been excavated and lies within the Drake’s Bay Historic and Archaeological District.

The District was designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S Department of Interior in October 2012.

San Agustin enthusiasts have set their own home page and Facebook page. They’re connecting on other social media sites, sharing video clips and photos on Vimeo and Flickr.

Thelen’s company is encouraging viewers to vote for his video in an online International Movie Trailer Festival contest.


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