Portland, ME (PRWEB) August 5, 2005 -
Underwater explorers whoÂve examined the wreck say their research indicates that itÂs the Notre Dame de Deliverance Â a 166-foot, armed merchant vessel of French origin. The research includes surveys of the site by state-of-the-art remote sensing devices, ROVÂs and divers, a study of historical records, and the discovery that a few silver items Â including a crucifix, plate and some coins Â were brought up years ago by other salvagers. Recent underwater video footage is now being analyzed to determine the best procedure for recovery.
Greg Brooks and John Hardy of the Sub Sea Research states ÂIt was one of the richest ships ever lost,Â they estimate the value of the DeliveranceÂs trove could be between $2 billion and $3 billion. The Deliverance departed Havana on Halloween with an armed escort of seven or eight smaller, schooner-like vessels according to BrooksÂ research in Cuba and elsewhere. The ship soon met a fate that Brooks now believes was remarkably similar to what befell the Atocha and its hapless crew in surrounding waters 133 years earlier.
The hurricane struck the night after the ship left Havana, its eye passing over Havana to the southwest. The escorting ships reportedly were able to survive the storm and sailed across the outer reefs to eventually anchor on the northwest side of the Marquesas Keys to ride out the storm until the following morning, according to a research report prepared by Brooks and Sub Sea researcher Edward Michaud.
An incomplete manifest of the Deliverance cargo that was on board at the time of sinking declares those riches to include 17 chests packed with nearly 1,200 pounds of gold bullion, 15,000 gold doubloons, six chests of gems, and more than a million silver pieces. That doesnÂt count contraband or any valuable belongings of passengers.
Before he hunted sunken treasure, Brooks built swimming pools for a living. Over a decade ago, after 19 years in that business, he cashed out to find his fortune. BrooksÂ principal partner and fellow investor is John Hardy, a former National Aeronautics and Space Administration engineer who currently runs a La-Z-Boy Furniture Gallery in South Portland.
Brooks says heÂs personally spent a million dollars so far in the hunt for treasure that he believes has led him to the Deliverance. HeÂs helped make ends meet doing salvage work for insurance companies. Brooks, who is married and has an 18-year-old daughter, has plans to create a shipwreck museum and aquarium in Portland.
Sub Sea ResearchÂs primary recovery vessel is the 105-foot M/V Diamond, a converted U.S. Navy torpedo retriever thatÂs currently docked on Stock Island near Key West.
About Sub Sea Research LLC:
Sub Sea Research LLC is a privately held limited liability corporation based in Portland, Maine. Founded in 1984 by Greg and Kathy Brooks and joined by Lois and John Hardy as principal partners in 1993, the company has achieved a continued steady success rate in locating and recovering researched historic shipwrecks worldwide and continues to develop the Shipwreck Institute of Maine Project, as well as a planned maritime museum in Haiti. For more information, visit http://www.subsearesearch.com.