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Odyssey Marine finds wreck, but looses it in court battle with Spain.
Greg - 2/20/2012 4:07 PM
Category: General
Replies: 9

Check out this article about a wreck found by Odyssey Marine, but U.S. courts awarded the wreck to the country of Spain:

WarmWaterTurner - 2/20/2012 7:10 PM
So does this mean that the "New World" goes back to Spain as well?
mbchiro - 2/21/2012 6:30 AM
How is that possible. I thought finds like that in international waters were finders keepers. What about the Atochia and others shouldn’t they have to give their finds back to. That sets a bad precedent for future treasure hunters.
Greg - 2/21/2012 7:29 AM
The article says: "International treaties generally hold that warships sunk in battle are protected from treasure seekers. The Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes was sunk by British warships in the Atlantic while sailing back from South America with more than 200 people on board."
TColJeep - 2/21/2012 7:23 PM

About a dozen people in South America now have lawyers in U.S. District Court
in Tampa presenting a new approach.

Gonzalo de Aliaga, the count of San Juan de Lurigancho in Peru, and more than
a dozen other people claim their ancestors first owned the vast majority of gold
and silver long before Spain took custody aboard the Mercedes for delivery to

In their legal fight, those descendents hired David Paul Horan of Key West,
who has represented famed treasure hunter Mel Fisher and worked on cases
involving ships including the Titanic
hoofpick - 2/22/2012 9:29 AM
If the courts are going to be stupid enough to award the old ship wrecks to some other country like this case. Then that country needs to pay a finders fee and expenses of the group that found the wreckage. If the country is unwilling to pay, then do not disclose the location of the wreckage. I know how this sounds, but too much is being taken away from the folks that have invested a lot of money and time to find these wreck, not to mention the risk of life. These wrecks are abandoned, forgotten treasures and belong to whom ever finds them. Not to some country or insurance company wanting to lay claim to them.
SCUBASMITTY - 2/22/2012 10:42 AM
Eve - 2/24/2012 8:59 AM
Sounds to me like the gold and silver will end up in the hands of all of the attorneys. I agree with Scubasmitty, find it, keep it, tell no one ! I also agree with hoofpick, they need to pay a finders fee.
Kemperite - 2/24/2012 11:13 AM
I think that the gold needs to be impounded for a bit. If the idiot judges are going to give the gold to Spain then the governments of South/Central America need to be given time to file a suit in US Court against Spain for repatriation of the treasure, much like people have been attempting to repatriate war loot from WWII. Spain had possession at the time of the sinking, but they looted it to gain possession. If we are truly interested in reuniting it with the rightful owners then technically it needs to go to the tribes/civilizations it was stolen from.
Indiana - 2/25/2012 4:02 PM
The wreck was never identified.They think it was the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes but never was proven.Thats are courts no evidence needed just the power of the rich or goverment.But I do believe they have to pay for the recovery.