The Holy Grail of shipwrecks is scheduled to be raised from the depths of the water, bringing valuables worth as much as $20 billion at today’s exchange rates.
The British navy sank the San Jose in 1708 off the coast of Cartagena, and the Colombian government promised that the ship would be retrieved as soon as possible.
According to legend, the ship went down with 200 tons of silver, emeralds, and eleven million gold pieces.
After the shipwreck was uncovered in November 2015, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos declared the loot the world’s most extraordinary.
In 2015, naval divers found the San Jose about 3,000 feet below the ocean. Pictures taken by naval divers last year show the wreck in excellent condition, given that it has been lying on the seabed for over three centuries.
The ship is expected to surface again before the conclusion of President Gustavo Petro’s term in 2026, according to the Colombian government.
There could be a fight over who gets the bounty if the ship is salvaged.
In 1981, an American salvage group called Glocca Morra supposedly discovered the San Jose. However, The Colombian government disputes this and claims that a separate team of divers uncovered the ship in 2015. The discovery’s precise location is now being kept under wraps.
Glocca Morra alleges that the Colombian government owes them $10bn and has submitted the coordinates of the shipwreck to Colombian authorities.
The business has filed a $10 billion arbitration claim against the Colombian government for its share of the wealth.
Bolivia and Spain’s Qhara Qhara nation claim the vessel as their own, with the former claiming that the latter was forced to mine the metals used in the treasure for the former.
During the War of the Spanish Succession, the three-masted ship was sunk off Cartagena on June 8, 1708, after being caught by a British squadron.
Before his term ends in 2026, Petro would like to see the ship unearthed. Since then, he’s asked for a joint effort between the public sector and private industry to realize the initiative.