More shipwrecks found near sunken vessel 'with treasure worth billions' on board

More shipwrecks found near sunken vessel 'with treasure worth billions' on board

June 7, 2022

New shipwrecks near a vessel with lost treasure potentially worth billions of dollars have been discovered off the coast of Colombia.

The country’s navy has been conducting underwater monitoring missions on the San Jose galleon – but on Monday discovered two other historic shipwrecks nearby, the President explained.

Some historians believe that the San Jose is carrying hugely valuable treasure – and new images reveal gold coins, vases and crockery on board.

The ship, located in 2015, sank in 1708 near the Caribbean port of Cartagena, and the possible recovery of its cargo has led to years of legal wranglings.

A remotely operated vehicle reached 900 metres below the surface and captured the best view yet of the treasure, which also includes gold ingots, cannons made in Seville in 1655 and an intact Chinese dinner service.

Archaeologists from the navy and government are working to determine the origin of the plates based on inscriptions, officials said.

The vehicle also discovered the two other nearby wrecks – a colonial boat and a schooner thought to be from around the same period as Colombia’s war for independence from Spain, some 200 years ago. It was not immediately clear what the ships were carrying when they went down.

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‘We now have two other discoveries in the same area, that show other options for archaeological exploration’, navy commander Admiral Gabriel Perez explained.

‘So the work is just beginning.’

Local authorities are aiming to raise the shipwrecks from the seabed for display in museums.

Confirming the new finds, President Ivan Duque said of the original vessel: ‘The idea is to recover it and to have sustainable financing mechanisms for future extractions.

 ‘In this way we protect the treasure, the patrimony of the San Jose galleon.’

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