The last voyage of the French packet ship 'Général Abbatucci'
Salvaged treasures from the "Général Abbatucci"
Pope IX did not receive his jubilee presents in 1869. They were lost when the 'Général Abbatucci', a French packet ship bound for Civitavecchia, sank of the northern coast of Corsica, in little less than 2700 meters of water ! a few days before his Jubilee anniversary. She and the valuable cargo, including the Pope's presents and half a ton of gold coins, were thought to have vanished forever.
THE TIMES OF LONDON - 13 MAY 1869
"Intelligence has been received of the loss of the steam packet General Abbatucci. A French Intendant General, the Pontifical Consul at Marseilles, 16 French soldiers and 15 Papal recruits, on their way to Civitavecchia, have perished... "
The 'Général Abbatucci' and her secrets lay untouched on the seabed until she was located in May 1996, nearly 127 years after her tragic end.
It took Pascal Kainic many years to find and complete the historical files and Blue Water Recoveries, the British salvage company, 32 days of searching before they finally found the wreck they were looking for, scanning over 1000 square miles plagued by bad weather and unpredictable currents - attested to by the numerous other wrecks discovered during the search...