San Jose's Treasures: The Discovery of the Shipwreck

June 18, 2018
'The Holy Grail of Shipwrecks', as San José is commonly known, is back in news. This 64 gun, three-masted galleon of the Spanish Navy, which sunk in 1708, was found off the coast of Cartagena, Colombia, resting at the bottom of the sea, alongwith its famed treasures.
Explosion of San Jose - Oil Canvas by Samuel Scott
Although the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) released this information only recently, after seeking permission from the Colombian Government, the shipwreck was discovered back in 2015 itself. The treasure, which consists of gold, silver, emeralds, among many others, is estimated to around $17 billion!
San Jose Ruins
Image Credit

The institution used REMUS 6000, an underwater autonomous vehicle, to trace the location, and based on the photographs provided, the San José was identified. Also, the bronze guns engraved with dolphins confirmed that it was indeed the lost ship. REMUS was previously used to find the wreck site of the Titanic in 2010, and to also track down Air France 447 in 2011.

Another interesting fact about this treasure hunt is that, back in 1981, a group of investors of Glocca Mora co (or the Sea Search Armada) claimed to have had discovered the shipwreck. But things did not go according to plans, and there were disagreements with the Colombian government as to the division of the treasure, and they had to let it go. They did sue the government, but without any effect. Coming to the present, the government of Colombia plans to build a museum to preserve the precious artifacts, and other valuables of the San José, and display it for the public, as it also has great cultural significance. Now that's what can be called, all's well that sinks well.

Post Written by - Lopamudra

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