February 3, 2012 by staff
Shipwreck Treasure, On a day when Irish families faced yet more financial pain, they could be forgiven for trying to trace any distant ancestral ties to one US treasure hunter who claims to have located a haul worth over $3bn (â‚¬2.3bn).
Carrying what could be one of the richest sunken treasure troves ever found, a British merchant ship carrying platinum bars was torpedoed by a German U-boat off Cape Cod during the Second World War.
A lawyer for the British government doubted the vessel was carrying platinum but added that if it was laden with precious metals, who owns the hoard could be a matter of international dispute.
Treasure hunter Greg Brooks of Sub Sea Research in Gorham, Maine, announced that a wreck found sitting in 210m of water, 80km offshore is that of the SS Port Nicholson, sunk in 1942. He said he and his crew identified it via the hull number and he hopes to begin raising the treasure by early March.
“I’m going to get it, one way or another, even if I have to lift the ship out of the water,” he said.
Brooks said the Port Nicholson was headed for New York with 71 tonnes of platinum valued at the time at about $53m when it was sunk in an attack that left six people dead.
The platinum was a payment from the Soviet Union to the US for war supplies. The vessel was also carrying gold bullion and diamonds.
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