Salvage team discovers sunken Russian cruiser carrying 200 tons of gold

Russian first-class armored cruiser Donskoii; Photo: Shinil Group

The wreck of a Russian warship that had sunk near South Korean island Ulleungdo 113 years ago has been discovered, Korean salvage company Shinil Group said.

The 5,800-ton Dmitrii Donskoy, found at a depth of 434 meters and at 1.3 kilometers from the island, is believed to carry some 200 tons of gold worth nearly USD 130 billion.

The semi-armored cruiser was part of the Russian Baltic Fleet which encountered the Battle of Tsushima in May 1905 after it had been intercepted by the Japanese fleet.

The Shinil Group exploration team, which had prepared the Donskoy excavation, “found two ships of Nuytco (Canada)’s DeepWorker in the estimated area of sinking on July 14, 2018, and the ship was 100% identical to the Donskoy’s sail plan.” Then, a re-exploration was conducted on 15 July, and finally, the team found Donskoy and photographed the stern.

In addition to the clear sharpness of the stern, there were 203mm cannons and 152mm long-distance guns, a number of machine guns, anchors, two stacks, three masts, wooden decks and armor.

The bottom of Donskoy is about 40 degrees on the slope of the seabed with its stern 380 meters below the water level, and its bow is at 430 meters. One-third of the stern is bombarded and the hull is severely damaged, according to the Shinil Group.

However, the upper deck of the wooden hull is almost untouched. The armor on the side of the hull is also well preserved, while the anchors, guns and machine guns remain in place. In addition, all three of the masts and the two chimneys are broken, there was also a partial attacked trail of marking on the sides.

Iron boxes have been also found in the wreck and efforts will be made to preserve them, the company, leading the exploration team from South Korea, the UK and Canada, further said.

Take a look at the video depicting the discovery of the wreck.


Video: Shinil Group

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