Shipwreck Found Off UK May Hold $1B in Treasure
Florida firm finds HMS Victory, lost in 1744
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2009 4:36 PM CST
Sir Robert Balchin stands by a painting of his ancestor Admiral John Balchin and HMS Victory at a press conference in London today.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – A shipwreck that could contain treasure worth over $1 billion has been found in the English Channel, Reuters reports. Florida’s Odyssey Marine Exploration discovered the wreck of the HMS Victory, an English flagship that was lost in a storm in 1744 with all 900 crew—and a stash of gold coins weighing 4 tons in total, according to historical documents.

“Finding this shipwreck has solved one of the greatest shipwreck mysteries in history,” said Gregg Stemm, CEO of Odyssey. Stemm says the firm is aware of the dangers of unearthing sunken treasure: “There is some very strong evidence that there are some valuables on this wreck which may create a bit of a free-for-all and we just hope we will be able to keep the site hidden,” Stemm said.