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Colombia finds two shipwrecks near legendary San José galleon

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Colombia finds two shipwrecks near legendary San José galleon

Tue, 07/06/2022 - 17:58

The Colombian Navy confirmed Monday that it has located two large shipwrecks close by the San José galleon

The San Jose galleon which was sunk by the British in 1708 near Colombia's Caribbean port of Cartagena and located in 2015 has been described as the holy grail of shipwrecks, as the ship was carrying one of the largest amounts of valuables ever to have been lost at sea.

In a video statement on Monday, Colombian President Iván Duque and naval officials said a remotely operated vehicle was sent down to obtain new video of the San Jose wreckage when it also discovered two other nearby wrecks.  The shipwrecks, one a Spanish galleon and the other a Republican-era Schooner, thought to be from around the same period as Colombia's war for independence from Spain, some 200 years ago, were photographed by a submersible robot equipped with a high-resolution camera.

Admiral José Joaquín Amézquita of the General Maritime Directorate explained that as a result of high-precision imagery, it was possible to identify the year and ports where the ship’s cannons were manufactured – Sevilla and Cadiz in 1655. The hull of the Republican Schooner, built some 200-year ago, can also be appreciated in close detail with underwater camera footage.

The new images offer the clearest view yet of the treasure aboard the San Jose - including gold ingots and coins, cannons made in Seville in 1655 and intact Chinese dinner service.

Archaeologists are working to find out the origin of the plates based on inscriptions, officials said.

The exact location of the three wrecks remains a highly-guarded government secret, but they are believed to be some 50 nautical miles northwest of Cartagena, and a site permanently protected by the Colombian Navy.

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