Rescue Prepared for Sunken Ship Containing Millions in ‎Gold and Silver

By Dialogo
March 10, 2009

Buenos Aires, Mar 10 (EFE). - Next week a ship from Norway will begin efforts to ‎rescue the “Polar Mist,” a Chilean fishing vessel which mysteriously sank ‎carrying a load of more than nine tons of gold and silver bars in the Atlantic ‎Ocean off the coast of Argentina.‎ The rescue was ordered by the British insurance company Lloyds with an ‎estimated cost of approximately two million dollars, the newspaper Clarín ‎reported today based on sources affiliated with the operation.‎ Lloyds hired the vessel “Skandi Patagonia,” which features a team of seven ‎divers, one heliport, and a system of powerful propellers that enable it to remain ‎in the same spot despite waves, for the rescue.‎ Since 2002, the Norwegian vessel has been providing logistic services to the ‎French oil company Total Austral for its exploitation of deposits south of ‎Argentina.‎ The “Polar Mist” sank after a storm on January 18 at the Atlantic entrance of the ‎Strait of Magellan, carrying a cargo of 9.5 tons of “golden metal,” bars of 90% ‎silver and 10% gold, appraised at about 18 million dollars.‎ Of the valuable load of the “Polar Mist”, 6.9 tons belong to the mines of Cerro ‎Vanguardia, with the participation of the South African Anglo Gold (92.5 percent) ‎and the Argentinean State company Fomicruz (7.5 percent), while the remainder ‎belongs to the mining company Triton Argentina, a subsidiary of the Canadian ‎Pan American Silver. ‎ ‎“It may be easier to lift the vessel than to remove the eight boxes (from the gold ‎cargo) that are in the ship’s hold”, said a speaker for the rescue group.‎ It is believed that the "Polar Mist," which was caught by surprise in a storm with ‎waves of up to ten meter high on January 16, sank to a depth of 75 meters with ‎its valuable cargo, has a device that sends a signal to help it be located.‎ The rescue group believes that the cargo of gold and silver can be recovered in a ‎few days if there are no setbacks.‎