5 deep ocean explorers that struck it rich

51,000 coins and 14,000 artifacts were recovered from the SS Republic by Gregory Stemm

By Alex Lemaire

Underwater exploration is one of the most amazing activities on the planet. You can detect a whole new world that merely a few people get to see and experience. Some of the explorers took their passion to the next level. They spent their life looking for forgotten underwater treasures. This article is about five deep sea explorers that hit gold.

Gregory Stemm
Gregory is the founder of Odyssey Marine Exploration. He successfully recovered tons of gold and silver from various shipwrecks around the world use advanced machinery. He recovered 51,000 coins and 14,000 artifacts from the shipwreck of the SS Republic . He also recovered 48 tons of silver from the shipwreck of the British steam merchant ship SS Gairsoppa .

He located and salvaged many other shipwrecks building him one of the most successful deep sea explorers in the world. But he made one mistake. He secretly recovered 17 tons of gold and silver from a shipwreck that he code-named ablack swana. And he concealed the treasure in secret places in Florida. The Spanish government found out that black-swan was actually the Nuestra Senora De Las Mercedes , a Spanish frigate. So they started a legal battle to get the gold and silver back, which happened in 2013.

Edward Lee Spence
Dr. Edward Lee Spence is an underwater archeologist. He is the founder and former president of the International diving institute. Edward is behind the discovery of many shipwrecks. He discovered the Civil War siege athlete Georgiana in 1965 and the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley in 1970. It is the first sub to sink an enemy ship in history.

Although he said that money is only a byproduct and he is diving shipwrecks simply because he is passionate about it, he recovered $ 100 million worth of artifacts along his career. He thinks that discovering a shipwreck is exciting regardless of the value of its cargo. To him, the best discoveries are those that help to solve historical mysteries.

Mel Fisher
Mel Fisher discovered the shipwreck of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha in 1985. It was loaded with 40 tons of gold and silver and 70 pounds( 31 Kg) of emeralds. In 2014, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized this discovery as the most valuable shipwreck in the world.

Getting there wasnat easy. Mel Fisher expended 16 long years looking for the wreck. He lost family members and a diver after detecting one of the shipas canons. And right after detecting the wreck, he had to deal with a legal battle against the nation of Florida over the ownership of the wreck.

Brent W. Brisben
Brent is famous for salvaging $4.5 million dollarsa worth of artifacts on the 300 th anniversary of the sink of the 1715 rich fleet. 12 Spanish ships were sailing from the new world to Spain. They were hit by a hurricane and sank off the coasts of Florida.

This underwater treasure is large. Brent has been recovering gold coins from this locating since 2010. Some of the artifacts can be found as shallow as 6 feet. Getting to the site is easy but Brent owns the exclusive salvage rights. You canat recover anything from there without his permission. However, if an artifact has been washed to the shore, itas all yours. Jonah Martinez, an employee who worked for Brent, took advantage of that. He received a bunch of gold coins on the beach using a metal detector in 2020 and he kept him for himself.

Tommy Thompson
Tommy constructed millions when he detected the shipwreck of the SS Central America . It was loaded with around 13 tons of pure gold that came from California. This valuable cargo is estimated to be worth $ 550 billion dollars in todayas money.

Tommy is a smart guy. He utilized the Bayesian search theory, which is a mathematical hypothesi that has been used many times to search for lost shipwrecks. However, he wasnat transparent. Many investors funded the recovery operation and they had an agreement to split the gold. He maintained a portion of it to himself. He is now behind bars.

About the author
Alex Lemaire is passionate about treasure hunting whether inland or underwater. He published many articles about this subject on his blog Metal Detector Planet . He thinks that this hobby is an amazing way to learn more about the history of humanity.

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