BURNHAM explorer Michael Turner has returned home from his latest expedition following in the footsteps of the legendary Elizabethan explorer, Sir Francis Drake.

The Weekly News has reported how Michael, 57, has travelled the world and written numerous books on Drake.

His latest trip took him back, for the eleventh time, to Panama, where Drake died of dysentery in 1596 while anchored off the coast of Portobelo.

Michael joined his long-time friend, Rene Gomez, proprietor of ScubaPanama, and the pair become the first divers to reach the seabed at the theoretic ‘Cophin of Lead’, Drake’s final resting place.

The pair descended to a depth of 176 feet during the 15-minute dive.

Michael said: “We were surprised and delighted to see a turtle at 150 feet, afterwards it was a relief to see the grey mud of the seabed coming into view. This was the first time that anybody has paid their respects so close to Drake`s grave.”

Video footage of the dive, among 17 clips documenting Drake’s adventures in Panama, will be featured on Michael’s website, indrakeswake, and on You Tube.

Michael said he and Rene hope their dive will interest TV production companies and a desire to find the legendary Cophin of Lead.