Famed treasure ship found carrying $5 million treasure trove
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A gold-rush steamer that was previously lost to the world has finally been found - with a staggering $5 million worth of treasure on board.
The vessel had been making its way from Columbia to San Francisco when a collision with another ship caused it to sink, claiming the lives of 325 people.
The accident happened when a second mate aboard the other ship - the Orpheus - mistook her lights for that of a lighthouse.
While this spelt tragedy for the SS Pacific, the Orpheus was luckier, and the stricken vessel managed to make it back to shore, saving the lives of everyone on board.
At the time of the sinking, there was $180,000 worth of gold aboard the SS Pacific, by the monetary standards of the day, which is why people have tried and tried to locate its final resting place.
But it has now been discovered thanks to the keen observations of Matthew McCauley and Jeff Hummel from the Northwest Shipwreck Alliance.
They noticed two circular depressions in the seabed that led them to the wreck at a currently undisclosed location (for obvious reasons, we imagine).
However, it was revealed that the treasure-filled ship is located approximately 23 miles offshore and at a depth of between 1,000 and 2,000 feet, the New York Post reports.
Spokesperson Philip Drew said of the find: "The site required close and repeated examination with side scan sonar lines and remotely operated underwater vehicle dives to gather enough data and evidence.
"Sure enough, we were able to image both paddle wheels with sonar and view the uncovered portion of them with the ROV in a nearby debris field."
As reported by the MailOnline, this is a case of finders keepers, and the crew who discovered the wreck have the exclusive rights to salvage it.
"The discovery was more of a slow realisation than an a-ha moment," the spokesperson continued. "And there's still years of hard work ahead to excavate the wreck, taking the appropriate care to recover and preserve artefacts."
Despite the immense value of the artefacts, the group want to salvage them to put on display because of their historical importance.
However, this cannot happen until descendants of the ship's passengers and crew are given the opportunity to claim whatever is found.