Captain Morgan’s Ship

August 10, 2011 by staff 

Captain Morgan's ShipCaptain Morgan’s Ship, Someone clearly was not paying attention, and – who knows? – Maybe kids see, had been hitting the rum in one fateful night in 1671 when the satisfaction of the good ship struck a reef off the coast of Panama, the sinking with the loss of its entire crew.

The flagship of the fleet of Admiral Sir Henry Morgan, who was headed to the mouth of the Chagres River to capture the Castle of San Lorenzo of the Spanish, was one of the five ships that disappeared in the choppy sea. He sank into the ocean, where it remained for the next 340 years is gradually covered by sand and mud.

The moment a team of divers and archaeologists led by Texas State University ran into the wreck earlier this year, only two inches helmet satisfaction were still visible. After months of digging, they found about 50 feet from her starboard side, along with several wooden chests inlaid with coral.

Frederick “Fritz” Hanselmann, the research team leader, who said he was like chancing a “needle in a haystack”, announced the discovery this week. Mr. Hanselmann expected that satisfaction would help shed light on an inglorious chapter of British adventure. In March, the team of Dr. Hanselmann is unearthed six guns of the fleet of Morgan, near the mouth of the Panama Canal. But the team has yet to discover the treasure.

“For us, the real treasure are those wrecks that can give us the ability to say with precision the history of a legendary historical figure as Captain Henry Morgan,” said Mr. Hanselmann. “The findings of this nature allow us to study these artifacts and teach others about life of these famous pirates more than 300 years.”

Morgan, a mercenary and (some say) pirate Monmouthshire, south Wales, was hired by the Crown to protect the trade routes in the Caribbean. After finding that an advance party of his men had captured the Castle of San Lorenzo, continued the Chagres to Panama City, which quickly destroyed.

The attack violated a peace treaty between England and Spain, which means that Morgan was arrested. Success pleaded ignorance of the treaty, was acquitted and knighted by Charles II, and later went to Jamaica, where he became lieutenant governor.

Morgan, who died in 1688, remains a legendary figure, thanks in part to the cheap rum brand that bears his name. And there is at least a whiff of a PR stunt on the fact that Mr. Hanselmann last expedition was funded in part by the beverage company, which issued a press statement yesterday describing the sponsorship deal as “natural.”

The privatization of the salvage industry is nothing new, however. In recent years there has been a large increase in the number of wrecks being unearthed by Archaeologists Sea with private funds, using the most advanced underwater exploration, such as sonar, metal detectors, and remote control submersible robots.

Unlike the nonprofit Mr. Hanselmann operation, the vast majority of underwater explorers today are commercial enterprises that operate in secret, raising fears that the valuable historical sites are being looted. The UN estimates that 3 million shipwrecks sandy seafloor, and the value of its sunken cargo runs to tens of billions of pounds. Under the 1989 International Convention on Salvage, shipwrecks in international waters are there for the taking, provided they are not sovereign vessels. Interpreting the law can be complicated. A U.S. Company Odyssey Marine Exploration calls is locked in a legal dispute with the Spanish government about the discovery of 500,000 gold and silver coins, weighing 17 tons, near Portugal. Spain insists the distance, and worth some 500m (£ 310m), was the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, a frigate sunk by the Royal Navy in 1804. Odyssey insists otherwise.

These companies insist that, in the absence of government funds, private saving is the only way to discover and preserve important objects. Odyssey in the past has reached agreements with the British government to share profits and preserve important parts of the three ships in the UK was discovered: the HMS Sussex, RMS Laconia, and the HMS Victory, the predecessor of Nelson’s flagship, was found about 60 miles from Alderney in May 2008. Odyssey has also worked with U.S. museums so the public can see the remains of ships such as the SS Republic, a steamer Baltimore, which sank during a hurricane in 1865.

Satisfaction, along with other remnants of the fleet of Captain Morgan discovers that Mr. Hanselmann, the end result will inform the public. Mr. Hanselmann, yesterday said all its findings will be donated to Panama’s National Institute of Culture.

Famous shipwrecks

The ship Mary Rose King Henry VIII’s flagship was raised to the surface in 1982 after 437 years at the bottom of the Solent. More than 10,000 objects from the ship’s last trip (to meet the French in battle in 1510) were recovered. The boat is on display at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

The Titanic A French-American expedition discovered the Titanic in 1985, 73 years after the infamous ocean liner struck an iceberg and sank on April 15, 1912, killing 1503 passengers and crew. Experts believe it would be impossible to raise the wreck from its resting place 2.5 miles (4 km) below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean.

The 45,000-ton battleship Bismarck was once the pride of the German Navy and joy during the Second World War, before British torpedoes sank it in 1941, along with 2,900 crewmembers. Now his remains lie about 600 miles west of Brest, on the French coast at a depth of nearly 4790 meters (15,700 feet).

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