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Boston Treasure Hunters Prepare To Recover $3 Billion In Platinum

By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV
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The British vessel, the Port Nicholson was carrying a platinum payment to the U.S.

The British vessel, the Port Nicholson was carrying a platinum payment to the U.S.

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BOSTON (CBS) – Here on the Sea Hunter docked at Pier 1 in East Boston, the crew is getting ready to get their shipwrecked treasure. After three years working on this project, they are ready to recover the $3 billion in platinum.

MV Sea Hunter Captain Gary Esper says, “We’re just about ready to pull it up. It’s fantastic, can’t wait for it. Been a couple years, we’re ready.”

Kevin LaChance, the MV Sea Hunter Deck Boss, says, “We’ll bring ‘em up to show once and for all, we’re on the money.”

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports

The British vessel, the Port Nicholson, was carrying a $53 million dollar payment in platinum from the former Soviet Union to the U.S., when it was torpedoed by German U-Boat in 1942. It sank, and the location was kept secret until recently.

The Sea Hunter crew located the wreck three years ago, about 50 miles off the coast of Provincetown 700 feet below sea level in 2008.

Their equipment hasn’t been strong enough to battle the powerful current and grueling conditions.

They will head back out, heavily armed, with stronger equipment, as soon as they get a weather window of good conditions.

They have federal rights to the ship now, and say so far no one has claimed the treasure. When it’s salvaged, a judge will decide where it goes. The crew says the US was paid by insurance already.

This team has found a few wrecks in Haiti, but never anything this large. This could be the richest shipwreck in history.

LaChance, who pilots the remote operated vehicle that will bring up the platinum, says when the ship sank, it fell on it’s side and you can see some of the treasure by underwater camera. “A small percentage of these cases did fall out of the wreck and this is what we’re seeing now.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mary Blake reports

When people say this sounds to good to be true, what does the Captain Esper say? “It is, but it’s out there and we’re going to get it. I know we’re on it and are really close to finding it.”

What does Captain Esper plan to do with his treasure? “I am going to keep doing the same thing, I love doing this. Maybe buy a new truck. Pay my house off. Will be fun.”

LaChance says, “Just like any treasure out there finders keepers.”

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