Shipwreck Treasure From Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes Returns To Spain From Florida .

 Good and Happy News !

The Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes (Our Lady of Mercy in English) was a Spanish frigate which was sunk by the British off the south coast of Portugal on 5 October 1804 during the Battle of Cape Santa Maria.

Odyssey Marine Exploration made an international splash in 2007 when it discovered the wreck of the ship, believed to be the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, off Portugal's coast. At the time, the coins were estimated to be worth as much as $500 million to collectors, which would have made it the richest shipwreck haul in history.
Some Of The 595,000 coins from the sunken Spanish Ship.
Odyssey — which uses a remote-controlled submersible to explore the sea depths — had argued that as the finder it was entitled to all or most of the treasure. The Spanish government filed a claim in U.S. District Court soon after the coins were flown to Florida, contending that it never relinquished ownership of the ship or its contents.

The Spanish government succeeded in court cases to wrest the treasure from a Florida shipwreck diving company which had salvaged the treasure, comprising 594,000 gold and silver coins, off the coast of Portugal in 2007.
Treasure Returns To Its Home Sweet Home,The Spain.

Two military planes carrying 17 tons of silver and gold coins scooped up from a sunken Spanish warship landed in Madrid on Saturday (25-02-2012), ending a more than 200-year odyssey that took the treasure from an ocean floor to Florida courtrooms.


  1. Salvaging private ships are one things but a warship is government property unless permission is given to salvage.

    Examples are the HMS Prince of Wales and Repulse, both ships cannot be salvaged or have items removed unless permission is obtained from the British Government.

  2. Hi aaronapng,
    Thank you for your great info.
    Hope you will share with us your good comments!

  3. what a waste of effort.
    i personally has different view. whatever I found is mine and not the government. hope those divers kept some of those previous coins with them.

  4. Items found belong to the owner, unless they relinquish ownership.

    Plundering ships is no different from robbing graves of sailors.

    There are laws concerning salvage esp. warships, known as Sovereign Immunity.

    Start Quote:-
    So, what does sovereign immune mean?

    Basically, it means that Odyssey Marine Exploration can not take anything off that ship without the express consent of the United Kingdom. Here in the U.S., the Department of the Navy retains custody of all its sunken ships regardless of whether they were sunk in U.S., foreign, or international waters. The navy says these wrecks are not abandoned, but remain the property of the government and are immune from the law of salvage.
    End Quote

    Think about the damage done to historical and archeological integrity after an entire wreck is dug up just for its valuables.