The notorious pirate Edward "Blackbeard" Teach and his naive gentleman partner Stede Bonnet made an odd pair, but a successful one. In the spring of 1718, the two made off with abundant loot after blockading the port of Charleston, South Carolina with a fleet of four ships. They fled north to Topsail Inlet, where Blackbeard persuaded Bonnet to journey to the capital of North Carolina to receive a royal pardon from the governor. With Bonnet gone, Blackbeard ordered his crew to move all the food, liquor, and treasure to his ship, the Adventure. As the crew emptied Bonnetís Revenge, amid the noise and confusion, a young crewman named Rich Cassidy lost his grip on a chest full of gold and diamonds and it slid off a gang plank and into the murky waters.  Pulling an oar on the trip back to Blackbeardís sloop, Cassidy prayed quietly to both Virgin Mary and to Lucifer also (just to cover all bets) that no one had noticed his mistake, and the hot-tempered Blackbeard would not find out.
Later, back on the Adventure with all hands on deck, Blackbeard let it be known that he did see the chest fall Ė but he put the blame on another crewman. In a drunken rage, he berated the puzzled and terrified man, and without warning, fired a pistol into his chest. Cassidyís knees buckled from terror, but he did his best to show no feeling. Blackbeard ordered the sails to be raised, and as a final act of preparation, decided to thin out his crew. Twenty men were marooned on a sandbar, including Cassidy. As he watched Blackbeardís sails disappear in the distance, Cassidy thanked both Mary and the devil.
Cassidy was rare among pirates in being an excellent swimmer. That night, as his thirsty mates slept fitfully under the open sky and dreamed of a rescue by Bonnet, Cassidy slipped into the water and swam two miles to shore. He looked at the Revenge in the moonlight, memorizing its location, and headed inland. Several weeks later, after Bonnet had set off in pursuit of Blackbeard, Cassidy returned to the spot in a stolen dory. After three days of skin diving in the muck, his hands happened upon the chest. He attached a rope, and with all his strength, hauled it up to his boat. After such an ordeal, Cassidy decided the pirateís life was not for him, so he traded a bit of his gold for a set of fine clothes, and booked passage to Boston, posing as the son of a wealthy planter from Barbados. He bought a townhouse, set himself up as a sugar merchant, and married the beautiful Faith Hawkins. You can still find some of his diamonds hanging from the necks of Bostonís rich and famous.