Recovering the Most Valuable Shipwreck in History

by Luke Higgins

Image result for san jose shipOngoing efforts to salvage a shipwreck off the coast of Colombia from the 1700s are making painstaking progress. Moreover, historical records of what the San José was carrying on board suggest that a breakthrough in the recovery process could yield the richest haul of underwater treasure ever found.

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Coin World recently reported on continuing efforts by Colombia to salvage the early-18th-century shipwreck of the San José, a Spanish warship that exploded and sank along the Atlantic coast in 1708. (It is not to be confused with another vessel named San José that sank off the coast of Florida in 1631.) It was part of a much larger fleet that was attacked—with some success—by the British. 14 other ships in the fleet of 17 did escape the ambush. All told, 600 people perished in the wreck.

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Researchers in cooperation with the Colombian government have located what they believe to be the remains of the San José.  Sonar has revealed the cannons of the ship along with other identifying artifacts.

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