From the NY Times: Sea explorers probing the depths of the English Channel have discovered what they say is a legendary British warship that sank in a fierce storm in 1744, losing more than 900 men and possibly four tons of gold coins that could be worth $1 billion.
The team found the wreckage of the warship, the H.M.S. Victory, last year and confirmed its identity through a close examination of 41 bronze cannons visible on the sandy bottom, Gregory P. Stemm, head of the discovery team, said Monday at a news conference in London.
The team lifted two of the cannons from the seabed and gave them to the British Defense Ministry, he said. The team’s leaders are now negotiating with British authorities on the disposition of the artifacts and treasure before the divers attempt further recoveries.
“I’m surprised we’ve been able to keep it under wraps for nine months,” Mr. Stemm said at the news conference, calling the shipwreck “a momentous discovery.” He is the chairman and chief executive officer of Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. of Tampa, Fla., a publicly traded company that specializes in deep-sea exploration and recovery.