Shipwreck from gold rush discovered off coast of Washington State



The sonar images are unmistakable to the trained eye. A shipwreck more than a thousand feet deep off the Washington coast.In November 1875, the steamship SDS Pacific was traveling from Seattle to San Francisco when it collided with a large sailing ship in the dark of night. Current estimates say about 325 people were on board, probably more. Also on board, tons of oats and hops, hides, 230 tons of coal and a substantial amount of gold.Jeff Hummel has been exploring northwest waters since the 1980s and his love of history has driven him to search for the Pacific, an endeavor that began in 1993 and was reignited in 2017 after years of painstaking research.”Eventually, I found a commercial fisherman who brought up some old coal and just by strange circumstance he happened to still have the piece, and so I was able to get it chemically analyzed by a laboratory up in Alberta,” Hummel said.It was a match to the ship, and he and his team began to close in.Twelve missions later, they’ve identified the wreck, the two circle depressions you see, the distinctive paddle wheels from the pacific. Having just secured the legal documents granting his team exclusive salvage rights, Hummel can now take a breath as he gears up for the next phase of recovery and preservation.”The state of preservation of this wreck is on par with any of the greatest shipwreck finds in the world,” Hummel said.Watch the video above for the full story.

The sonar images are unmistakable to the trained eye. A shipwreck more than a thousand feet deep off the Washington coast.

In November 1875, the steamship SDS Pacific was traveling from Seattle to San Francisco when it collided with a large sailing ship in the dark of night.

Current estimates say about 325 people were on board, probably more. Also on board, tons of oats and hops, hides, 230 tons of coal and a substantial amount of gold.

Jeff Hummel has been exploring northwest waters since the 1980s and his love of history has driven him to search for the Pacific, an endeavor that began in 1993 and was reignited in 2017 after years of painstaking research.

“Eventually, I found a commercial fisherman who brought up some old coal and just by strange circumstance he happened to still have the piece, and so I was able to get it chemically analyzed by a laboratory up in Alberta,” Hummel said.

It was a match to the ship, and he and his team began to close in.

Twelve missions later, they’ve identified the wreck, the two circle depressions you see, the distinctive paddle wheels from the pacific.

Having just secured the legal documents granting his team exclusive salvage rights, Hummel can now take a breath as he gears up for the next phase of recovery and preservation.

“The state of preservation of this wreck is on par with any of the greatest shipwreck finds in the world,” Hummel said.

Watch the video above for the full story.



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