From Iceland — Search For Sunken Treasure Ship Begins Again

Search For Sunken Treasure Ship Begins Again

Published May 23, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Laurent Deschodt/Wikimedia Commons

Another search has been launched for a Dutch merchant vessel which sunk off the south coast of Iceland in the 17th century.

MBL reports that Gísli Gísla­son is leading a team to search for the Het Wapen van Amsterdam, a Dutch merchant vessel which sank off the south coast of Iceland in 1667. The ship, which reportedly had made a stop in Java before coming to Iceland, was laden with gold, gems and precious metals when it ran aground.

Gísli will be using drones to pinpoint the exact location of the ship, and has received permission from the Cultural Heritage Agency of Iceland to start his search.

Two previous searches for the ship were unsuccessful, but Gísli will be using 3D computer imaging in order to assist the effort.

The ship is the stuff of legends, and has long captured the imagination of prospective treasure hunters in Iceland and elsewhere.

Treasure hunting off of Iceland’s shores most recently made headlines last year, when an American ship was intercepted by the Icelandic Coast Guard near the Westfjörds. It was suspected that the ship was looking for sunken ships and submarines from World War 2, possibly to scavenge the wrecks for treasure.

The exact value of the Het Wapen van Amsterdam’s cargo is unknown, but its discovery will be of great cultural importance to Iceland. The Grapevine will keep readers updated on any developments that arise.

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