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Have they found a 113 year old wreck with 200 tonnes of gold?

Representatives of the South-Korean company Shinil Group, made public information about the discovery of the wreck of the Russian ship “Dmitry Donskoy”. According to unconfirmed information, in the holds of the vessel belonging to the Russian Empire Navy, there is probably 200 tonnes of gold! The Koreans make no secret of the fact that they
Published: July 19, 2018 - 19:19
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 17:03
Have they found a 113 year old wreck with 200 tonnes of gold?

Representatives of the South-Korean company Shinil Group, made public information about the discovery of the wreck of the Russian ship “Dmitry Donskoy”. According to unconfirmed information, in the holds of the vessel belonging to the Russian Empire Navy, there is probably 200 tonnes of gold! The Koreans make no secret of the fact that they are counting on their find being a bull’s eye.

Shinil Group employees have located the centuries-old wreck at a depth of 434 metres, near Ulleungdo Island, and now plan to explore it and extract the cargo with partners from China, Canada and the UK. To prove it, they gave the exact coordinates where the vessel rests and posted a video recorded by an ROV robot, with shots of the stern, where the name of the cruiser – “Dmitri Donskoy” – is clearly visible.

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The cruiser was a part of the group of ships of the Baltic Fleet, sent to the Pacific during the Russian-Japanese War, which lasted from February 8, 1904 till September 5, 1905. The ship took part in the battle of Tsushima, 27-28 May 1905, which turned out to be a spectacular defeat of the tsarist fleet. At that time more than 5000 Russian seamen were killed and nearly 6000 were taken prisoners, and the Baltic Fleet itself was practically annihilated.

The crew of the ship “Dmitry Donskoye” did not want to give up and till the end it fought a fierce battle with six Japanese cruisers, chasing them all day long. With the approach of dusk the Russian matros managed to lose the pursuit and to take shelter near the island Atsurgato. Unfortunately, the damage suffered prevented further fighting or even escape and forced the crew to sink their own ship the next day.

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The search for the wreck of the Tsar’s cruiser and its cargo has fired the imagination of countless people for over a century. After all, who wouldn’t be impressed by the 200 tonnes of gold worth $133 billion that were supposed to be in the hold of the “Dmitri Donskoy”? Why such a fortune on a warship? Well, a group of Russian ships sent into battle had an enormous distance to cover and the accumulated bullion was to provide the entire fleet with everything it needed.

However, many people are sceptical about the information about the valuable cargo in the holds of the “Dmitry Donskoy”. They claim that it is impossible for such a fortune to be carried by one warship. Especially since everything could be safely transported by rail as far as Vladivostok. However, neither side can definitively prove their hypothesis and we will have to wait until the exploration of the interior of the wreck is completed.

The doubts concern not only the contents of the hold of the “Dmitry Donskoy”, but also the Shinil Group company. South Korean news service Chosun Biz reported that Shinil Group was founded only in June 2018, although it titles itself the successor to Shinil Corporation, established in 1957. What’s more, the company was reportedly founded with a share capital of 100 million South Korean won (£67,689).

The company has so far not applied to South Korea’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries for the right to explore the cruiser’s interior, which would force a fee of 10% of the estimated value of the wreck. If the Shinil Group rumours are true, this would be far more than the value of the company itself.

Shinil Group representatives have already announced that they will hold a press conference soon to clarify any doubts, and they estimate the cargo to be extracted over a period of about three months.

Source: aif.ru, rg.ru, bbc.com

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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