An inter-disciplinary team from different agencies in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue has begun to survey a shipwreck believed to date back to the early 19th century.
The survey is conducted to assess the feasibility of salvaging the ship and help authorities make a decision.
The shipwreck is located two metres underwater and 100m off Xuan Thien Ha Beach in Phu Vang District's Vinh Xuan Commune, said Phan Tien Dung, director of the Thua Thien-Hue Department for Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Dung said the survey will last for ten days and will be carried out with the support of divers, workers and special equipment from Hue City.
Based on the survey results, provincial authorities will decide whether or not the ship should be lifted from the site, Dung told Viet Nam News.
The 60m long, 10m wide steam-powered ship was discovered some 60-70 years ago and has been visited many times since by antique collectors and scrap merchants. Most of the ship is currently buried under sand.
In early 2011, Nguyen Cong Tinh, owner of a scrap shop in Hue city, was granted permission from Phu Vang District's military command to exploit the shipwreck further.
However, on May 29 this year, the provincial People's Committee issued a decision to revoke the permission and suspend exploration of the ship, said Tran Van De, chairman of the Vinh Xuan Commune People's Committee.