Friday, August 24, from 8-10pm, Smokin’ Tuna Saloon / by Amy Tripp


Smokin’ Tuna Saloon hosts party for Discovery Channel’s ‘Treasure Quest’ season premiere featuring Key West local Shawn Cowles

On Friday, August 24, from 8-10pm, Smokin’ Tuna Saloon, 4 Charles Street, invites the public to celebrate Key West local Shawn Cowles as he debuts in his role as expert treasure hunter in the third season of Discovery Channel’s ‘Treasure Quest.’ Focused on a quest to discover the biggest land find treasure in history – the legendary Sacambaya Treasure in Bolivia, reportedly worth two billion dollars, the premiere episode will be shown at the popular live music venue at 9pm.

Though Cowles has kept busy serving as a steward to Florida Keys history for the last four years as operations manager for Key West Art & Historical Society, his own history has certainly paved the way to starring in the popular reality show. An adventurer at heart with a penchant for problem-solving, his work has included searching for a lost Manila galleon in Guam, recovering lost treasures from Florida’s 1622 fleet shipwrecks Atocha and Santa Margarita, and his diving and consulting work with prominent land find and shipwreck projects in North and South America have given him the technical and practical skills required to lead the ‘Treasure Quest’ expedition.

Over the last three centuries, many explorers from around the world have made the journey to unearth this legendary treasure, without success. Perilous weather conditions and dangers of altitude sickness, wild mountain lions, landslides, Jesuit booby traps, and even blood-sucking vampire bats stand in the way of unearthing the long-hidden riches.

In the season premiere teaser trailer, Cowles, tech specialist Jeremy Whalen, and demolitions expert Jack Peters must travel through Yungas Road, infamously known as “Death Road” because it has more fatalities each year than any other road in the world, to get to an old and long-abandoned Jesuit monastery. Mere miles before they reach their destination, a landslide forces the team to stop dead in their tracks and reroute their journey to safety. Will this end the team’s trek to the treasure, or will their knowledge and expertise take them through to the end?