Divers find silver on sunken ship off Argentina

By Vicente L. Panetta - The Associated Press

Divers battling high winds and waves have recovered nearly a ton of unrefined silver from a ship that recently sank off the Argentine coast, police said Wednesday, easing suspicions about insurance claims on the vessel.

About 20 divers aided by a robot submarine recovered the metal from the wreck of the Polar Mist on Tuesday, said a police official in the city of Rio Gallegos.

They were waiting for seas to calm before resuming the search for more of the estimated 9.5 tons of ore believed to be aboard, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case.

The refitted fishing trawler sank near the mouth of the Straits of Magellan on Jan. 18, two days after it was abandoned by its crew in high seas.

The owners of its cargo say nearly $22 million in unrefined gold and silver went down with it, but Argentine news media and maritime experts had questioned whether precious metals were aboard at all.

Argentina unrefined silver Rio Gallegos Polar Mist Straits of Magellan