Spain files claim over FL treasure ship

Spain files claim over FL treasure ship

This is a discussion on Spain files claim over FL treasure ship within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; This ought to be an interesting thing to keep an eye on..... (Pics in bottom of post) AMPA, Fla. - The Spanish government has ...

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Thread: Spain files claim over FL treasure ship

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Sig229's Avatar
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    Jan 2006

    Exclamation Spain files claim over FL treasure ship

    This ought to be an interesting thing to keep an eye on.....
    (Pics in bottom of post)

    AMPA, Fla. - The Spanish government has filed claims in U.S. federal court over a shipwreck that a Florida firm found laden with colonial-era treasure, an attorney said Thursday.

    If the vessel was Spanish or was removed from that country's waters, any treasure would belong to Spain, said James Goold, an attorney representing the government.

    "It's a very well established principle under Spanish, U.S. and international law that a government such as the kingdom of Spain has not abandoned its sunken ships or sunken property, and that a company like Odyssey Marine Exploration may not conduct recovery operations without authorization by the government," he said.

    "The kingdom of Spain has not authorized any such operations by Odyssey, and by these legal actions it will see the return of any Spanish property Odyssey has recovered," Goold said of the claims filed Wednesday.

    Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. CEO John Morris said in a statement Thursday that "such a move was anticipated by Odyssey and is considered normal in Admiralty cases."

    The company has previously said Odyssey would notify all claimants once it conclusively determined the ship's identity. Odyssey said it was not found in Spanish territorial waters.

    The company announced two weeks ago that it had discovered a shipwreck containing 500,000 gold and silver coins somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. The Tampa-based company said the site was outside any country's territorial waters but would not give the exact location or name of the ship.

    Odyssey has said that the ship was not in Spanish territorial waters and was not the HMS Sussex, a shipwreck that Odyssey recently got permission from the Spanish government to search for in the Strait of Gibraltar.

    But Spain has called the new discovery suspicious and said the booty may have come from a wrecked Spanish galleon.

    In Britain, the find generated press reports that Odyssey had salvaged the wreck of the long-sought British vessel Merchant Royal, which sank in bad weather off England in 1641. Odyssey has not confirmed or denied these reports.

    Spain is using the U.S. law firm Covington & Burling, which has represented Spain over shipwreck cases before, including the recovery of material from two ships, Juno and La Galga, in a 2000 court case. The Spanish government won the case at that time.

    Odyssey shares rose 13 cents, about 2 percent, to $6.83 in volatile morning trading. Shares fell almost 4 percent early in the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $1.52 to $9.45.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Musketeer's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    I lost $200 about 20 years ago. I am filing a claim that anyone who finds $200 must return it to me.

    Seriously this is stupid. Aren't there already salvage rules? If this stuff has been sunken for hundreds of years I can't accept any person's claim to it except the person who shows the initiative to go and get it.

    How does Spain expect to prove this is theirs? The salvagers need only say, "nope wasn't your ship but if you want to scour the Atlantic for it feel free."

  3. #3
    Array QKShooter's Avatar
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    If they have an extra ton of Gold I would like to have it.
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  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array Colin's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
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    Marine law for this stuff is murky, of course Central America or Mexico could claim the gold was "stolen" from them....

    I think the USAF abandons aircraft lost, but the USN claims every military vessel/aircraft wrecked as still belonging to them. That might change as the wrecks start release more oil. Then the US taxpayer might be on the hook for the cleanup!

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Sheldon J's Avatar
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    Been a watching those boys for some time now, N it depends if the ship was found in international waters or US, but it will likely be considered abandoned, any insurance claims if there are any are usually void after that period of time.
    "The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array BIG E's Avatar
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    I believe that even stolen "booty" is finders keepers as long as it is in international waters.
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  7. #7
    Member Array Pickpocket's Avatar
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    Perhaps they should have been looking for it all this time, if they felt so strongly about it being theirs...

  8. #8
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    If it came from the wealth of the Inca, Azteca and other people of the Americas, one could make a good case that the treasure represents a small down payment on a very large debt owed. As Spain likely was covered by the "deep pockets" of the age (whomever "insured" the voyage(s) of the day), it hardly seems likely the state can lay legitimate claim.
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