• Short Summary

    Treasure worth 40,000 (US$84,000) has been found in a sunken wreck off the east coast of New Zealand's North Island.

  • Description

    Treasure worth 40,000 (US$84,000) has been found in a sunken wreck off the east coast of New Zealand's North Island.

    The jewels belonged to Isadore Rothschild, a passenger on the SS Tasmania, when it sank in 105 feet (33 metres) of water off a remote stretch of the New Zealand coast in 1897.

    Many attempts have been made to recover the treasure but it wasn't until December that New Zealand underwater explorer Kelly Tarlton succeeded in locating the elusive gold and precious stones.

    He used a high pressure jet of water to wash away tons of rubble to find the treasure which had been scattered over the years.

    After hundreds of dives and more than seven months of scrabbling in murky waters, Tarlton recovered jewellery in almost every handful of rubble. In one day alone he recovered jewellery worth a year's wages. He says when he brings it all to the surface, the treasure will be worth NZ$100,000 ($40,000 sterling).

    All salvage work has been done from his 22 foot (7 metre) boat, "The Discoverer". It took six trips simply locating the wreck and uncovering the cabin before Kelly could start bringing the treasure to the surface.

    The divers working with Kelly face the danger of sharks, and the high pressure of the deep. The nearest de-compression chamber is 300 miles (500 km) away so any case of the bends could kill.

    SYNOPSIS: New Zealand underwater explorer Kelly Tarlton has discovered a fortune in precious jewels and gold in a sunken wreck off the North Island of New Zealand. The jewels belonged to Isadore Rothschild, a wholesale jeweller who was a passenger on the 'SS Tasmania' when it sank in a hundred and five feet of water off a remote stretch of the east coast of North Island, in eighteen ninety seven.

    Several attempts had been made to recover the treasure, estimated at forty thousand pounds sterling. But is wasn't until December that Tarlton was able to start bringing up the treasure. Tarlton made six trips to the location of the wreck in his boat, the Discoverer, and after hundreds of dives, and seven months of searching in the cold murky waters he was able to start bringing the treasure to the surface.

    To overcome the murkiness of the water, the divers attached a large fire hose to the outlet of the boat's jet unit. This pumped a stream of clear water onto the work area, giving the divers a small area of relatively good visibility. Conditions when this film was taken were remarkably good. Normally it would not have been possible to see past the outstretched hand. Once aboard the boat, the pieces of encrusted debris are sifted for traces of precious metal.

    Tarlton now recovers jewellery and precious stones in almost every handful. In one day alone, he said he recovered treasure worth a year's wages. When the ship went down, the treasures was in a trunk in a cabin. But the case disintegrated years ago, and the ceaseless movement of sand and water spread the contents in all directions. But the determination of the divers over months of facing the dangers of sharks and the bends, has paid off.

    Back in camp at evening, the week's findings are displayed for the camera. The bicycle was all the range in eighteen ninety seven. And this solid gold charm once hung from a lady's wrist. These few handfuls of riches are worth about four thousand dollars, but won't be sold if Tarlton can help it. He hopes to display them at his home.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA4VAUGP3VHP6XSNRKKC88HNWG0
    Media URN:
    VLVA4VAUGP3VHP6XSNRKKC88HNWG0
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    31/12/1975
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:30:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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