Today I read an interesting article on expatica.com titled, “US Supreme Court refuses appeal over ship treasure.” (need link) A Florida company found silver and gold on a sunken vessel from Spain but on Monday was ordered by the US Supreme Court to return the treasure. According to the article, “releasing the treasure to the Florida company would be inconsistent with a 1902 treaty between the United States and Spain.” In February, a Federal court ruling in Atlanta said the ship was the property of Spain. The ship sunk in 1804 as a result of a battle with British ships near the Straits of Gibraltar. The sunken ship called the “Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes” was found in May 2007 in the Atlantic Ocean about 518 meters under water
Odyssey Marine Exploration is the Salvage specialist which found the treasure. In addition to refusing to grant this final appeal to the Florida company, the court also refused an appeal from Peru, which tried to prevent the treasure from going back to Spain. Odyssey Marine Exploration found around $500 million in gold and silver objects, making it, according to the article, the “most valuable find in history.” The treasure has already been returned back to Spain.
Well, easy come, easy go!
Our Miami based maritime firm has been handling disputes involving the law of the sea for 30 years.