Treasure hunters recover $1.4m in gold from 1857 shipwreck off US coast

02nd Jun 2014

A deep-ocean exploration company in Florida says it has recovered nearly 1,000 ounces of gold, worth $1.4 million at current gold prices, on a reconnaissance dive to an historic Atlantic Ocean shipwreck.

The dive confirmed that the ship, SS Central America, had not been disturbed since 1991 when another company stopped recovery work, Tampa-based Odyssey Marine Exploration, announced on Monday.

The ship, which sank in a hurricane in 1857 with 21 tonnes of gold aboard, sparked a US banking panic at the time, which lasted several years.

The 280-foot sidewheel steamship carried gold from the California mines, as well as the personal wealth and belongings of its 477 passengers, most of whom were lost when the ship sank.

The two-hour reconnaissance dive in mid-April took place as the company’s research vessel, Odyssey Explorer, was travelling from the United Kingdom to Charleston, South Carolina.

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