Seattle group helped find 15 tons of gold lost on sunken ship

Started by gash, April 05, 2019, 11:15:51 am

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Few have heard of the SS Central America. But it has a place in history because of what happened over three days, beginning on Sept. 9, 1857.

The steamship's sinking off the Carolinas in a hurricane with 105 mph winds stands as this country's worst passenger ship disaster.  Of the 578 aboard, 425 perished.

It also has been called the world's richest shipwreck because it carried 3 tons of gold commercially shipped from the California Gold Rush, and perhaps an equal amount being carried by the passengers. There were rumors of another 15 tons of gold in a secret Army shipment.

Trouble and treasure hunting just seem inseparable, as 13 individuals, most from the Seattle area, found out.

They were the engineers, technicians and owners of high-end sonar equipment who were promised a small share of the wreck's bounty in return for their work, which found the Central America in 1988, some 160 miles off the South Carolina coast, 7,200 feet down on the ocean floor.

It took nearly 30 years of litigation and reams of legal documents before a court settlement got them at least a portion of what they were owed. The last of two payments arrived in February.

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