In 1763, a British ship named Lord Clive was sailing off the coast of what’s now Uruguay. The ship was allegedly stocked with massive amounts of rum, as well as treasure chests full of gold and silver coins. During a raid, Spanish troops attacked the city of Colonia del Sacramento with cannon fire. The Lord Clive was struck in the bombardment, and went down. And so did all the ship’s treasure.
In 2004, the Lord Clive was located underneath some rocks at the bottom of the River Plate. Despite knowing where it was, the Uruguayan government has never permitted anyone to recover the ship — until now. Rubén Collado is an Argentinian treasure hunter who is attempting to salvage the shipwreck. With permission from the Uruguayan government, Collado is looking for investors to fund the mission. Recovering the ship will be expensive, but tales of the legendary treasure are an alluring pitch.
“Many people want to stake money, since they enjoy this kind of thing. It’s like gambling; you put in $1,000 and you could make $5,000 or $1 million, depending on what shows up,” Collado explained to The Guardian.
Another part of the reason people are so excited about the Lord Clive is the ship itself. The Royal Navy built the ship, and it was an impressive vessel, boasting six decks and 64 guns. The ship also belonged to what was once the world’s richest company, the East India Company.
“You can’t really make a valuation,” Collado said. “The cannons should be $64 million altogether. The coins are worth $5,000 to $6,000 each, and there are 100,000 of them, so just do the math. But the most important thing about that ship is her history. She’s probably the best you can find in that condition thanks to the fresh water in that part of the River Plate.”
With the ship’s rich history, the legends of treasure chests full of gold and silver, and huge amounts of 250-year-old rum, it’s no wonder Collado is having no trouble finding investors.
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