By Joel Allen - Carolina Live
Salvagers are working an old shipwreck offshore, with the hope of finding treasure.
The dredging boat Rio Bravo is docked at Crazy Sister Marina in Murrells Inlet this week.
The boat's crew wouldn't allow NewsChannel 15 cameras on board or tell us what they're doing, though officials at the marina say the boat is involved in a salvage operation.
And Kehl Carter says he knows what they're up to.
Carter has been diving the area for years and says he was contracted by the salvage company, Marex, in 1996 to work a shipwreck that local divers call the "Copper Pot".
"Some other businessmen here at the beach put together a full fledged salvage operation of the wreck site," Carter said.
He said the Rio Bravo is doing another excavation of that same site he worked years ago.
What divers call the "Copper Pot" wreck is really the steamship SS North Carolina. The boat was owned by Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, one of the world's richest men in the 19th century.
In 1840, the ship collided with a sister ship off Murrells Inlet and sank, with 56 people on board.
No one died in the wreck, but about a dozen senators and congressmen who were on board lost many of their possessions, some of which were later salvaged by Carter.