By Liezel Hill - WAtoday
A marine salvager specialising in extracting cargoes from sunken ships has recovered its first gold from a 19th-century vessel lying more than a kilometre beneath the Atlantic Ocean.
Odyssey Marine Exploration recovered almost 1000 ounces (28 kilograms) on April 15 during its first reconnaissance dive to the wreck of the SS Central America.
The precious metal included five gold ingots and two $US20 Double Eagle coins, the Tampa, Florida-based Odyssey said on Monday.
"Gold ingots and other artefacts were clearly visible on the surface of the site during the dive and no excavation was required for their removal," it said.
The Central America, a sidewheel steamer, sank in 1857, more than 250 kilometres off the coast of South Carolina, with the loss of 425 lives.
Previous recovery efforts in 1989 through to 1991 netted more than two tonnes of gold. Odyssey has said that, based on certain assumptions, including that the remaining items are in the form of Double Eagle coins, there may still be $US 86 million ($ 92 million) of gold at the site.