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The 138-year-old shipwreck with a £95m treasure on board
By Marcus Warren in New York
(Filed: 18/08/2003)


Salvagers are planning to retrieve gold coins thought to be worth as much as £95 million from the wreck of a 19th century steamship discovered off the coast of Georgia.

If the operation succeeds, the hoard from the SS Republic would be one of the most valuable sums of treasure ever recovered from the sea bed.

The ship sank during a hurricane in 1865 en route from New York to New Orleans and, although most of its passengers and crew survived, its cargo of $400,000 in coins was believed to be lost for ever until the wreck was found this summer.

According to an expert advising the firm preparing to bring the money to the surface, the cargo could fetch up to £95 million on the open market. "That would make it the greatest treasure ever recovered" from an old shipwreck, Donald Kagin told the New York Times. The coins were intended to pay for reconstruction of the South after the Civil War.

Salvagers from Odyssey Marine Exploration, a Florida-based company, spent a decade combing 1,200 square miles of the Atlantic in a secret search for the Republic but only discovered the wreck last month. Images shot by an underwater robot this month show a paddle wheel buried in sediment, fragments of an engine, glass bottles and the rudder.

Odyssey has signed a deal with the British Government to recover an even greater prize, the wreck of HMS Sussex, which sank off Gibraltar in 1694. It was carrying nine tons of gold coins, which could now be worth more than £2 billion
 

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How do you know it's not divable? It could be reasonably shallow because to go from N.York to N.Orleans I can't see any reason for the ship to have originally went far enough offshore to get into deep water.

Peter
 

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I could be wrong, it has been known, but from the TV pictures I've just seen and the deep-water ROV's being used, and the size of lighting rigs being used, and the pitch darkness down there and.............

Put it this way mate, if I am wrong, I'll stop calling you English; if I'm right, then you've to publically 'come out' as being same!  
 
 

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Hey, hey, hey, Haud oan a wee meenit!!
You never mentioned anything about seeing T.V. footage. All I had to go on was what was above. Perhaps in future, Mr Tierney, if you disclose all known evidence before trial the I won't have a case for entrapment when it comes to my "Englishness" or not


Peter(If I played Football, it would only be for Scotland)Kelly
 

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The papers claim it's 1700 feet down, about 520m.  A quick google says the current record is 2300 feet on hydreliox, so it's diveable if you are the navy or a well funded commercial diver, but for most of us it may as well be on the moon.
 
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