Friday 24 November 2017

Ship of gold soon to give up its hoard

Gold bars are shown in this April 2014 handout photo provided by Odyssey Marine Explorations Inc. The coins were salvaged during Odyssey's first reconnaissance dive to the SS Central America shipwreck site, which lies 2,200 meters deep and 160 miles off the coast of South Carolina. Reuters
Gold bars are shown in this April 2014 handout photo provided by Odyssey Marine Explorations Inc. The coins were salvaged during Odyssey's first reconnaissance dive to the SS Central America shipwreck site, which lies 2,200 meters deep and 160 miles off the coast of South Carolina. Reuters

Rosa Prince New York

A sunken treasure of gold coins, bars and nuggets from a ship that sank in a hurricane off the coast of South Carolina more than 150 years ago is finally due to be salvaged.

The recovery of gold thought to be worth tens of millions of euro from the SS Central America has been delayed for 25 years after the man who first found the wreck went on the run and the operation became bogged down by dozens of lawsuits.

But the case has now been settled and initial deep-sea forays appear to confirm that tales of the ship's riches have not been exaggerated.

Photographs taken by a robot sent to the seabed appear to show the rotting timbers of the Central America, which went down in 1857 while sailing from Panama to New York with 425 people on board.

The robot mission, carried out by a company appointed by the court to resume the salvage, was the first time that the wreck had been viewed for a quarter of a century.

During its robot dive, Odyssey Marine Explorations recovered five gold bars weighing 66lb, worth about $1.2m (€860,000) as metal and more as artefacts.

More gold, mostly in the form of coins, worth an estimated $85m (€61m), remains in the wreck. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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