Canadian firm discovers centuries-old wreck

A Canadian firm used two of its submersibles to locate and identify a 19th-century Imperial Russian warship believed to be holding billions of dollars in gold.

According to a story published by Radio Canada International (RCI) last week, the warship sunk off the coast of Korea in 1905, when a naval battle known as the Battle of Tsushima took place during the Russo-Japanese War. The Japanese defeated most of Imperial Russia’s fleet, one of which was a 5,800-tonne ship called Dmitrii Donskoi.

The Donskoi carried a crew of nearly 600 people, 60 of which were killed while 120 were wounded; the majority escaped but were eventually taken prisoner on Korea’s Ulleungdo Island, according to the RCI story.

“For decades rumours swirled that the ship carried thousands of boxes of bullion and coins, the salaries of crew, wealth for port expenses, and possibly gold from other ships in the flotilla and possibly Russian gold from other sources,” reads the story.

A South Korean treasure hunting operation hired a Vancouver, B.C.-based deep sea technology company Nuytco Research to located the Donskoi. Within two days, Nuytco found the ship at a depth of about 400 metres.


Although there are rumours of the ship carrying up to $130 billion worth of gold, some experts are doubting one ship would have carried this much gold, which could have been shipped across Russia using its own railway network, through a war zone.

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