Wreck of Russian Warship Carrying $130-B in Gold Found Off SKorea
A South Korean salvage team has discovered the wreck of a Russian warship that’s still carrying 200 tonnes of gold bullion and coins worth $130-B, It is thought that the battle ship, Dmitrii Donskoi, sank during the Russo-Japanese War in Y 1905, going down with 5,500 boxes of gold bars and coins to prevent the Japanese from seizing it.
Historical accounts reveal it would have also included port expenses, salaries of sailors and officers and gold reserves of various other ships damaged in the battle.
The vessel was discovered at a depth of more than 1,400 feet, about 1 mile off the SKorean island of Ulleungdo, Seoul-based treasure-hunting company Shinil Group said in a statement.
A joint team made up of experts from South Korea, Britain and Canada discovered the wreck last Sunday using 2 manned submersibles to capture footage of the vessel.
The images caught by the diving artifacts show “extensive damage to the vessel caused in an encounter with Japanese warships in May 1905, along with cannons and deck guns encrusted with marine growth, the anchor and the ship’s wheel.”
The Shinil Group hopes to lift the Dmitrii Donskoi in October or November, said 50% of any treasure found aboard would be handed over to the Russian government.
Of the remainder, 10% will be invested in tourism projects on Ulleungdo Island, including a museum dedicated to the vessel and Captain Ivan Lebedev, who died a few days after the Battle of Tsushima.
Russian cruiser Dmitrii Donskoi
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Builder:||New Admiralty Shipyard, Saint Petersburg|
|Laid down:||21 May 1881|
|Launched:||30 August 1883|
|Struck:||28 September 1905|
|Fate:||Scuttled after the Battle of Tsushima, 29 May 1905|
|General characteristics (as built)|
|Displacement:||5,882 long tons (5,976 t)|
|Length:||306 ft 5 in (93.4 m)|
|Beam:||58 ft 1 in (17.7 m)|
|Draught:||25 ft 10 in (7.88 m)|
|Installed power:||7,000 ihp (5,200 kW)|
|Propulsion:||· 1 shaft
· 8 boilers
|Sail plan:||ship rigged|
|Speed:||about 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph)|
|Range:||7,000 nmi (13,000 km; 8,100 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)|
|Armament:||· 2 × 8 in (203 mm) guns
· 14 × 6 in (152 mm) guns
· 4 × 381 mm (15 in) torpedo tubes
|Armour:||· Compound armour
· Belt: 9–4.5 in (230–110 mm)
· Deck: .5 in (13 mm)
· Barbettes: 12 in (305 mm)
Dmitrii Donskoi (Russian: Дмитрий Донской) was an armoured cruiser built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the early 1880s. She was designed as a commerce raider and equipped with a full suite of sails to economize on coal consumption. The ship spent the bulk of her career abroad, either in the Far East or in the Mediterranean. Dmitrii Donskoi was assigned to the Second Pacific Squadron after the Japanese destroyed the Russian ships deployed in the Far East during the early stages of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05. The squadron was intercepted by the Japanese fleet in May 1905 in the Battle of Tsushima after a lengthy voyage from the Baltic. The cruiser was not seriously damaged during the initial fighting and tried to continue on to Vladivostok after the first day’s fighting. She was spotted by several groups of Japanese warships the following day and was badly damaged in the resulting combat. Her captain ordered the crew ashore off Ulleungdo Island and had Dmitrii Donskoi scuttled offshore.
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