Spain may send navy to search U.S. treasure boats

#1
I some how think the yanks might get a little miffed if the Spaniards did this....

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain may send its navy to stop and search two U.S. boats suspected of carrying treasure from ancient shipwrecks belonging to Spain, Culture Minister Carmen Calvo said on Tuesday.

A judge in Cadiz has issued search warrants for the Odyssey Explorer and Ocean Alert, two boats belonging to the company Odyssey Marine Exploration, newspaper El Pais reported on its website.

Calvo told state radio she had received the backing of Defence Minister Jose Antonio Alonso to use Spanish troops to intercept the boats if necessary.

"Put in very simple terms, Spanish and international laws protect us and if anything against the law has occurred, we will respond and what was ours will be returned to Spain," she said.

Last month, Odyssey announced it had recovered half a million silver coins and hundreds of gold coins from the Atlantic in the biggest colonial-era shipwreck recovery of its kind.

However, it refused to say where the haul had come from.

Since Spanish authorities cannot intercept the U.S. boats while they remain in the military port in British-controlled Gibraltar at the southern tip of Spain, the Civil Guard is waiting for them to enter Spanish waters.
Reuters
 
#2
Ord_Sgt said:
I some how think the yanks might get a little miffed if the Spaniards did this....

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain may send its navy to stop and search two U.S. boats suspected of carrying treasure from ancient shipwrecks belonging to Spain, Culture Minister Carmen Calvo said on Tuesday.

A judge in Cadiz has issued search warrants for the Odyssey Explorer and Ocean Alert, two boats belonging to the company Odyssey Marine Exploration, newspaper El Pais reported on its website.

Calvo told state radio she had received the backing of Defence Minister Jose Antonio Alonso to use Spanish troops to intercept the boats if necessary.

"Put in very simple terms, Spanish and international laws protect us and if anything against the law has occurred, we will respond and what was ours will be returned to Spain," she said.

Last month, Odyssey announced it had recovered half a million silver coins and hundreds of gold coins from the Atlantic in the biggest colonial-era shipwreck recovery of its kind.

However, it refused to say where the haul had come from.

Since Spanish authorities cannot intercept the U.S. boats while they remain in the military port in British-controlled Gibraltar at the southern tip of Spain, the Civil Guard is waiting for them to enter Spanish waters.
Reuters
Fair play to the Spaniards though. Initial reports that the company was flying the material over to the US before disclosing its existence looked more than a mite suspicious. If the US company has nothing to hide they should come clean on the providence of the vessel or coins - that way they could negotiate a fair share with the relevant govt. as opposed to what's likely to now happen i.e. a fight in court for years.

lancslad
 
#3
First off its a commercial enterprise and they have no requirement to disclose anything to the Spanish if it is in international waters. However if the Spaniards know its in their waters, as they are claiming then an offence has already been committed so simply issue arrest warrants, which they haven't done.

There's more to this than meets the eye and never trust the Spanish to tell the truth or be honest, least of all a politician.
 
#4
Ord_Sgt said:
First off its a commercial enterprise and they have no requirement to disclose anything to the Spanish if it is in international waters. However if the Spaniards know its in their waters, as they are claiming then an offence has already been committed so simply issue arrest warrants, which they haven't done.

There's more to this than meets the eye and never trust the Spanish to tell the truth or be honest, least of all a politician.
Take your point but isn't it true to say that the US Navy argues retention of ownership of any of their own naval material that has previously been lost in international waters. If it works for the US you can't blame the Spanish for adopting a similar approach.

Bottom-line you're spot on with your final comment but to be honest I'd also expand it to say "never trust the Spanish, US, UK or any govt."

lancslad
 
#6
This sort of action is common. The Spaniards claim that the treaser originated from their country and therefor they have some claim to it. I'm sure they'll secure the treasure before releasing the location of the ship.

If it's in international waters, then tough luck for the Spanish. Should have spent their money and resources finding it then.
 
#7
ghost_us said:
This sort of action is common. The Spaniards claim that the treaser originated from their country and therefor they have some claim to it. I'm sure they'll secure the treasure before releasing the location of the ship.

If it's in international waters, then tough luck for the Spanish. Should have spent their money and resources finding it then.
It is rarely as simple as this, there are laws governing the ownership of wrecks and I suspect these are what the Spaniards are relying on. There are growing concerns that some ot these treasure hunters are both damaging achaelogical sites, something which should not be condoned in any society, not treating human remains with respect, and in some cases keeping their finds secret under the guise of commercial security but in reality to prevent the owning nation from enfocing it's rights. There was a recent report the location of which escapes me of sme other of these chancers doing the same with treasure off the Scillies.

I am all for fair recompense for their efforts and investment, but they should not be allowed to rampage over the ocean bed without control.
 
#8
ghost_us said:
This sort of action is common. The Spaniards claim that the treaser originated from their country and therefor they have some claim to it. I'm sure they'll secure the treasure before releasing the location of the ship.

If it's in international waters, then tough luck for the Spanish. Should have spent their money and resources finding it then.
Good point. But I thought the salvors usually negotiated a deal with the government which owned the ship and/or whose territorial waters the ship was in before they actuall started salvage operations?
 
#9
Lets not worry too much about who it belongs to and all that legal stuff. Any chance of any troops stationed in Gib popping onboard and liberating a few dabloons for the Chelsea Pensioners?
 
#10
I think the Spanish are suspicious that the gold and silver is from HMS Sussex which sank in Spanish waters after leaving Gibraltar.

It's understood Odyssey (with the UK's backing - and gets a large cut) were looking for the Sussex when this 'Atlantic' haul was announced.

So the Spaniards have a right to be suspicious. Though I admit to quite liking the idea of a 'Marbella Job' :)
 

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