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North Carolina was shipwrecked in 1840 30 kilometers off the coast of South Carolina after colliding with another vessel. Their wealth remained trapped between the sand and the cabins for almost two centuries.
When the North Carolina captain calculated the damage that the impact that another vessel had caused him would be lethal to his structure, he warned the crew and passengers to prepare for an emergency evacuation. No one could save your belongings. Not even luggage or mail could be recovered. Much less the thousands of gold coins that were transported and that made the ship a floating treasure .
The accident occurred in July 1840 just over 30 miles off the coast of South Carolina , in the United States . Since then, wealth remained in the power of the sea. Updated, the value of what North Carolina carried on board today would reach tens of millions of dollars in gold . Now they are being recovered, slowly. ” I can’t believe what we are finding,” Keith Webb, president of Blue Water Ventures, told the McClatchy news agency . “The coins seem almost as if they had been minted and they are driving us crazy. They were hidden in copper and the current did not move them in the sand . ”
The coins that “minted” the ocean were not of common denomination. On the contrary, they were strange and longed for by historians and collectors, so their price could be even higher.
However, it is not the first time that a company tries to rescue the golden treasure. Towards the end of the 90s another shipping company, MAREX , tried the feat. He did it halfway: they got 700 thousand dollars in profits from the bottom of the sea . After several attempts, the diver team surrendered. Those responsible for the adventure indicated that it was impossible and fruitless to continue the search.
The remains of the ship are 20 meters deep . But visibility is not the best: just a meter and a half to perform underwater work. To that must be added the risk of diving with the sharks that circulate in the area . The area is infested by these predators. But there are more complications for the mission: as if that were not enough, many of the treasures are buried more than a meter deep. For this task, specific machinery would be needed to remove the sand and perform the work. Hard. And expensive .
Divers who have travelled the remains of North Carolina for months must do so in an adverse context. They do it with technology capable of tracking coins but they must remain alert continuously. But they have an extra motivation: they know that their challenge is not only gold, but also the jewels and luxury watches that passengers could leave before the desperation of the evacuation .
On July 25, 1840, North Carolina descended Wilmington almost 100 miles to what should have been its final destination. But along the way he met Governor Dudley . The Dudley hit the ” intermediate cabins between the ladies and the gentlemen, ” cutting it almost in half. Water began to flood all the cabins. In just ten minutes it disappeared .
All passengers received the same order: evacuate. The only way they had to do it was by urgently moving to the Dudley . They did so. It was a chaos, according to the chronicle reproduced by the North Carolina Shipwrecks site . However, they could not carry anything with them. His belongings – very valuable – must remain on board.
“The Dudley left Charleston to run north on the night of July 24, 1840. It was loaded with passengers and carried a considerable amount of government mail. Shortly after, North Carolina left Wilmington and headed down the Cape Fear River. He also carried passengers and mail. At 1 am the next day, North Carolina saw a light moving south, about two miles away. It was the Dudley. The two ships continued forward, moving at a constant speed of between 12 and 14 miles per hour, each one headed slightly to the right of the other, as was customary. The climatic conditions were perfect and there were no whistles, since each one was aware of the presence of the other ”.
“Two kilometers separated them … then one … then a quarter. Even so, they advanced … 300 meters … 150 meters … passing near and to the right, when suddenly Dudley changed course and turned to the right. The companion, confused at the moment of passing, had turned the helm with force, to pass to the left of the other boat. It was too late for the North Carolina partner to avoid the disaster. He released steam and tried to stop his ship. But it was not on time; because Dudley moved on, directly against the other boat and hit her in the middle of the boat between the ladies and gentlemen’s cabins with a splintered bow that ripped four feet off Dudley’s bow and cut the Carolina almost in two . ”
“In ten minutes, the water settled on the roofs of North Carolina and soon disappeared. During that time, all the people aboard the Carolina were transferred to the Dudley, which remained nearby for the rest of the night, searching the sea for mail and luggage. With double cargo of crew and passengers of his brotherhood, he arrived in Wilmington safely the next day . ”
Now, Webb’s company intends to take that priceless treasure whose coins are within reach of its divers, if it manages to circumvent the dangers that surround it. The shipwreck site captivated and hypnotized thousands of divers who have made the place almost a sanctuary for a century and a half. ” 30 kilometers from the coast, the caldera, the well and the hull are still intact under 20 meters of water, ” says Ocean Front Vac , a site dedicated to vacations and excursions to the site, according to The Charlotte Observer newspaper .