Billion-dollar mission to explore 'holy grail of shipwrecks' at bottom of the Caribbean

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The 'holy grail' of shipwrecks remains astatine nan bottommost of nan water stocked pinch billions of golden and jewels - but nan Colombian authorities has claimed it for itself.

The legendary San Jose galleon, which sank disconnected Colombia's Caribbean seashore complete 3 hundreds of years ago, is believed to clasp $20 cardinal successful gold, metallic and emeralds.

Colombia declared nan tract a 'protected archeological area' and has now launched an undersea expedition to measure 'long-term preservation and nan improvement of research, conservation and valuation activities' needed to unafraid nan historical find.

The first shape of this process will attraction connected imaging nan vessel via 'non-intrusive' distant sensors, according to nan Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History.

The institute added that results of this fact-finding ngo could pave nan measurement for early explorations, which could retrieve archaeological materials from nan wreck.

The instrumentality utilized for searching of nan remains of nan galleon San Jose submerged almost 3,100 feet nether nan Colombian Caribbean Sea. It was operated by naval officials

Researchers pinch nan institute explained that they intend to deploy an underwater alloy equipped pinch sonar-like acoustic positioning technologies, arsenic good arsenic a submersible drone to research nan depths of nan site.

'This authorities is doing thing that is unprecedented,' according to Colombia's Culture Minister Juan David Correa, 'exploring nan sinking of nan galleon arsenic nan anticipation of knowing history and culture.'

The boat, dubbed nan 'holy grail' of shipwrecks because of its abundant treasure, was heading backmost from nan New World to nan tribunal of King Philip V of Spain erstwhile it plummeted to nan bottommost of nan ocean.

The 62-gun galleon was sailing from Portobelo successful Panama astatine nan caput of a wealth fleet of 14 merchant vessels and 3 Spanish warships erstwhile it encountered nan British squadron adjacent Barú.

The San Jose was a 62-gun galleon that went down connected June 8, 1708, pinch 600 group connected board

An intact Chinese meal group and different crockery were amongst nan ship's treasures

In 2015, nan Colombian authorities announced that a squad of navy divers had discovered nan legendary vessel lying successful astir 3,100 feet of water.

Colombia announced nan find of nan San Jose that aforesaid twelvemonth - but by that point, it had already caught nan oculus of adventurers.

Last year, different squad brought backmost jaw-dropping images of its perfectly preserved cargo.

The Colombian authorities antecedently claimed that nan vessel would beryllium raised earlier President Gustavo Petro ends his word of agency successful 2026.

However, location is group to beryllium a expansive conflict complete who owns nan vessel - pinch a US patient claiming that it discovered nan alloy and is demanding a information of nan treasure.

The Spanish authorities and an indigenous group are besides claiming ownership of nan shipwreck.

Gold coins were besides picked up connected nan video released by nan Colombian government

Colombian Culture Minister Juan David Correa said nan first effort would beryllium a 'dry run' for retrieving nan remainder of nan wealth and nan vessel itself

The San Jose galleon was owned by nan Spanish crown erstwhile it was sunk by nan British Navy adjacent Cartagena successful 1708, and only 11 of its 600-strong unit survived

American investigation institution Glocca Morra claims it recovered nan San Jose successful 1981 and turned nan coordinates complete to nan Colombians connected nan information it would person half nan luck erstwhile nan alloy was recovered. 

But nan company's declare was countered successful 2015 by Colombia's then-President Juan Manuel Santos, who said nan Navy had recovered nan vessel astatine a different location connected nan seabed.

Glocca Morra, now called Sea Search Armada, is suing for half nan wealth - astir $10bn according to existent estimates - nether nan US-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, according to Bloomberg.

But nan Colombian Minister of Culture Juan David Correa said nan government's squad had visited nan coordinates fixed by Sea Search Armada and recovered nary trace of nan San Jose.

Complicating matters further, location are competing claims from nan Spanish - whose Navy nan alloy belonged to - and Bolivia's indigenous Qhara Qhara federation which says its group were forced to excavation nan golden and jewels, truthful nan treasures beryllium to them.

Meanwhile, Colombia has hailed nan find arsenic a immense historical and taste achievement.

Correa told Bloomberg: 'This is 1 of nan priorities for nan Petro administration. The president has told america to prime up nan pace.'

WHAT WAS THE SAN JOSE GALLEON AND WHY DID IT SINK? 

The San Jose was a 62-gun, three-masted galleon that went down connected June 8, 1708, pinch 600 group connected board

It was 1 of galore Spanish galleons that made trips betwixt Europe and nan Americas betwixt nan 16th and 18th Century

When it sank, nan San Jose was transporting plundered gold, silver, emeralds and different precious stones and metals from nan Americans backmost to Spain

This wealthiness was helping finance Spain's warfare of succession against Britain

The vessel gained a estimation arsenic nan 'holy grail' of shipwrecks and was carrying 1 of nan astir valuable hauls of wealth ever mislaid astatine oversea - worthy astir £12.6 cardinal ($17 billion)

It was recovered submerged disconnected nan seashore of Baru successful what is now Colombia, adjacent nan Rosario Islands by a squad of world experts, nan Colombian Navy and nan country's archaeology institute

Why did it sink?

The San Jose galleon was sailing from Portobelo, Panama arsenic nan flagship of a wealth fleet of 14 merchant vessels and 3 Spanish warships erstwhile it encountered a British squadron 

The San Jose was tracked down 16 miles (26km) disconnected Cartagena, near Barú, by English Commodore Charles Wager from nan Royal Navy connected 8 June 1708

A conflict ensued, known arsenic 'Wager's Action'

Sources opportunity that Wager initially planned to return power of nan Spanish ship's unit and cargo

However, nan powder magazines connected San Jose detonated, destroying nan treasure-laden vessel earlier it could beryllium captured

Most of nan 600 souls aboard perished erstwhile nan alloy sank

The British prevented nan Spanish fleet from transporting nan golden and metallic to Europe successful bid to money further warfare efforts but nan loot would person been immense if they had managed to seizure nan ship

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