A new chapter may soon be written in the "Ship of Gold" saga. Odyssey Marine has been given a contract to return to the site of the S.S. Central America wreck and attempt to recover more of the ship's gold treasure that may have been overlooked in the famous salvage operation a quarter century ago.
The long wait to bring up the remaining gold from the SS Central America shipwreck may soon be over.
Odyssey Marine Exploration of Tampa will announce today that it has been chosen to retrieve what’s believed to be millions of dollars worth of gold coins, bars and ingots left behind 25 years ago by Columbus America Discovery Group, the Columbus-based shipwreck-salvaging company that found the wreck.
Ira O. Kane, the court-appointed receiver for Columbus America, has been working to set the recovery in motion.
“If all goes well, weather permitting, we’re prepared to begin,” he said. “We’re going to return to the Central America.”
Former Battelle scientist Tommy Thompson led a successful search in the late 1980s for the ship, a steamer that sank along the East Coast in 1857 with tons of gold in its hold. Thompson and his crew retrieved 3 tons of gold, silver and artifacts from the wreck, financed by $22 million from mostly central Ohio investors.
Odyssey’s hiring and its agreement with the receivership are subject to approval by Judge Pat Sheeran. Kane said he will file documents about Odyssey with the court on Wednesday. Odyssey could begin the recovery as early as April 1, Kane said.
He selected Odyssey after seeking recovery proposals from nine companies.
The company discovered the SS Republic, a Civil War-era shipwreck, in 2003 and the HMS Victory, which sank in 1744, in 2008.
Its salvage of the British cargo steamship SS Gairsoppa, a 1941 shipwreck nearly 3 miles deep, has resulted in the recovery of more than 110 tons of silver. The Central America shipwreck is 8,000 feet deep off the coast of South Carolina.
To read the complete article, see:
Company selected to retrieve ship’s gold
Since this article came out the judge ruled favorably and the project can go forward.
Below is another article form the Daily Mail forwarded by Dick Hanscom. Thanks.
'Remember, only 5 percent of this ship was excavated (in 1988),' Kane told The Associated Press on Thursday. "Obviously we hope that there is substantial value there and that we can return that value to our shareholders and to the creditors. If we can do that after 20-some odd years, I think it'd be a job well done."
The SS Central America was in operation for four years during the California gold rush before it sank after sailing directly into a hurricane in September 1857 in one of the worst maritime disasters in American history; 425 people were killed and thousands of pounds of gold sank with it to the bottom of the ocean.
To read the complete article, see:
$100m treasure of legendary 'Ship of Gold' to be raised after 157 years: Salvage firm to raise sunken bounty from vessel that sank with 421 passengers
This will also be a new chapter for Bob Evans, who was the Chief Scientist and Historian for the Columbus-America Discovery Group, the team that recovered the fabulous gold treasure from the wreck in the 1980s.
Bob Evans writes:
I would like the readers of this forum to know that I am excited to be returning to the site of the S.S. Central America treasure in the near future. I am working again for the original business that discovered the legendary treasure, and I will now be able, on behalf of the Receiver, to resume the business of discovering, recovering, and studying this most amazing of American numismatic time capsules. I am eager to continue this work after a hiatus of over two decades. Many wonders remain to be found.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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