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Monday, 11 June 2012

Does Alaska shipwreck hold millions in gold-rush riches?


The Alaska Office of History and Archaeology estimates there could be as many as 3,000 shipwrecks lining the state’s 44,000 miles of coastline. Now, the multi-million-dollar mystery behind one of those wrecks may finally be answered, when a Seattle-based company attempts to salvage the remains of the SS Islander, which sank in 1901 while carrying Klondike gold rushers – and, reportedly, lots of their gold -- from Skagway to the city of Victoria in British Columbia.

A federal judge in April declared that Ocean Mar, Inc. and its president, 62-year-old Theodore Jaynes, could move ahead with plans to survey and possibly salvage the more-than-century-old shipwreck. The decision ended more than a decade of legal wrangling over the salvage rights to the ship, and could finally answer the question of just how much -- if any -- gold remains on the sea floor where the SS Islander sunk in Southeast Alaska.

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