19th Century Shipwreck Could Contain Gold, Guns: Report

June 5, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

The wreck of a 19th century ship identified off the coast of South Carolina might contain gold, according to reports.

The 216-long steamship sunk near Cape Romain possibly has guns and hundreds of thousands of dollars in gold, reported Discovery News, citing underwater archaeologist Dr. E. Lee Spence.

“We have positively identified the vessel through the engine type, length, width, type of decking and other construction features, as well as its location, which matches perfectly with historical accounts,” Spence told Discovery.

He described the ship, called the SS Ozamasteamer, is “in surprisingly good condition with most of the ship relatively intact and sitting upright.” The ship wrecked in 1885.

Discovery cited a 1888 New York Times article saying the Ozama had “1,000 stands of arms, 3 Gatling guns and 500,000 cartridges to Cape Haytien.”

Spence added that he first discovered the shipwreck in 1979, but he “had absolutely no idea it might be valuable until this year when I finally learned her identity during a research on other wrecks.”

This week, it was reported that a shipwreck in Lake Michigan is believed to have been from the 17th century.

Researchers said the ship might have been the Griffin, which was the first full-sized ship to sail on the Great Lakes, according to The Associated Press.