February 3, 2012 by staff
Platinum Shipwreck, A Maine seafarer said he found the wreck of a World War II merchant ship off the Massachusetts coast, sunk while ferrying a load of the precious metal platinum valued today at nearly $3 billion, an unprecedented find that left some doubting the cargo.
Greg Brooks of Sub Sea Research in Gorham, Maine, said on Thursday he discovered the submerged ship in 2008 some 50 miles off the Massachusetts coast and, using a remotely run submersible vessel, identified it last summer as British freighter Port Nicholson.
The coal-fired ship, which rests in 700 feet of water, was sunk by torpedoes in a June 1942 attack by a German U-boat, Brooks said.
Brooks said the vessel had been bound for New York from Nova Scotia with 1.707 million ounces of platinum, a precious metal intended as a special wartime payment to the United States from the then Soviet Union.
That much bullion, if verified, would have a value today of $2.77 billion, at a platinum market price of $1,624 per ounce.
“If all the cargo is brought up, it will be the richest shipwreck in the world,” the treasure hunter said.
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