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Treasure fever as hunters release photos of sunken Russian cruiser ‘with 200 tons of gold’

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A South Korean firm made a splash on Tuesday after publishing, what it says, is a Russian Imperial Navy cruiser which was sunken during the Russo-Japanese War and may have had an entire flotilla’s treasury on board.

The Dmitrii Donskoi was an armored cruiser in the Russian Imperial Navy’s Baltic fleet which was deployed to the Pacific along with several other ships to fight in the 1904-05 Russo-Japanese War. It took part in the Battle of Tsushima, which was disastrous for Russia. It fled crippled and chased by Japanese warships and was eventually scuttled by its crew to avoid surrender off the coast of what is now South Korea’s Ulleung Island, or Ulleungdo.

https://www.rt.com/news/433519-treasure-ship-found-korea/

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welp, whoever found it first is probably singing this...

 

 

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i'll believe it when I see the gold on deck.

 

It's been over 100 years and the article states 'some' reports said the ship carried gold.

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I read about this on the web and saw some pretty good footage of the wreck.  So that part is true.  However, according to one Sergei Klimovsky; who was identified as the scientific secretary of the St. Petersburg Central Naval Museum in an article I read about the wreck, it was the Russian government's practice to ship gold to the far east via rail, which is a lot safer than by ocean shipment.  This only makes sense.  Would anyone really want to place a huge amount of gold in a ship going into a war-zone, and probably in one of their Navy's weakest vessels to boot.  The  Dmitri Donskoi was built between 1881-1883 and was officially described as a semi-armored frigate.  It was designed to be a commerce raider and carried a full set of masts and sails.  Even in 1904 that ship wouldn't have been considered anything more than an auxiliary vessel.  Possible to be used as a mail ship, but used to carry gold?  I don't think so. 

There was one other thing about the South Korean company that has the salvage rights that sounds very sketchy to me.  They were claiming that they were planning on raising the entire wreck; which lies in about 1400 ft (427 meters) of water.  I've dove on a dozens of shipwrecks and have learned a little about deep water salvage along the way.  If the wreck is as deep as stated then divers can't be used.  The world record for using divers to recover gold (4.5 long tons in 465 gold bars) is around 800 ft (245 meters) on the wreck of HMS Edinburgh in the early 1980's.  (Saturation diving with a small habitat for divers to take turns cutting through to the compartment where the gold was kept and then to bring it out while the other diver rested was the technique used.)  So we are talking about using manned or unmanned submersibles to explore or open up the Donskoi.  Real expensive and technical work and without an absolute guarantee that gold is on the ship it's probably a fool's errand. Raising the entire ship is virtually impossible.  It's not like it's a Soviet submarine the CIA wants to get it's hand's on.     

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