The UNESCO says Clifford was looking in the right area based on accounts of Columbus inaugural trip, but “it is further away from shore than one should expect.”
The UNSECO sent a team of its own experts to the wreck last month. The UNESCO report also touched on a couple of possibilities of what happened to the Santa Maria. It could be buried due to heavy sedimentation from nearby coastal rivers. Or, the ship could “have been slowly worn down by the waves, potentially leaving remains on a reef or sandbank in the bay.”
One thing is for certain, the search for the Santa Maria continues.