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Shipwreck could hold thousands of litres of rum

Sunken British warship the Lord Clive could hold “treasure worth millions”, including “vast stocks” of 250-year-old rum which will be recovered later this year.

The Lord Clive warship is believed to contain thousands of litres of 250-year-old rum

The wreck, which sunk off the coast of Uruguay, was discovered in 2004, but the Uruguyan government has only given permission for its recovery this year.

Salvage of the ship, which was sunk by Spanish cannons in 1763, will require cranes, excavators and around 80 workers and is expected to begin within two months.

The ship, which was constructed in Hull for the Royal Navy and was previously named HMS Kingston, was bought in 1762 by the East India Company for use in a military campaign in Spain, but sunk during its crusade.

After peace was declared, Spanish mariners left the area, but not before destroying the city wall and dumping the rocks on the vessel so it could not re-float.

Veteran Argentinian explorer Rubén Collado found the ship, and is now raising funds for the recovery.

The contents of the ship are unknown, as is whether the wreckage has been looted, but Collado believes it will still contain the gold coins, thousands of litres of rum, 64 bronze cannons and booty the crew had earlier seized from another ship.

When asked to value the contents of the ship, Collado told The Guardian: “You can’t really make a valuation. The canons should be US$64m altogether. The coins are worth US$5,000 to US$6,000 each and there are 100,000 of them, so just do the math.”

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