Shipwreck holds 200,000 gold coins

HMS Victory

By David L. Ganz

Odyssey Marine, the southern Florida shipwreck experts that have found more coin treasures than any other salver, has discovered the wreck of HMS Victory, it was announced Feb 2.

HMS Victory sank in the English Channel on Oct. 4, 1744, taking 1,150 sailors and four tons of Portuguese gold to the bottom of Davy Jones' locker.

About 200,000 gold coins are believed to be part of the treasure, whose sinking caused a major embarrassment to King George II in 1744, and whose recovery in 2009 could well become a cause celebre in international legal circles.

The wreckage of the HMS Victory, found below about 330 feet of water, may carry an even bigger jackpot than the $500 million in sunken treasure discovered two years ago off the coast of Spain.

Research indicates the HMS Victory was carrying 4 tons of gold coins when it sank in storm, said Greg Stemm, co-founder of Odyssey Marine Exploration, ahead of a Feb. 2 news conference in London.

So far, two brass cannons have been recovered from the wreck, Stemm said. The Florida-based company said it is negotiating with the British government over collaborating on the project.

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odyssey marine exploration HMS Victory Channel Islands British warship Maritime Heritage Foundation