June 8 (UPI) — Two new shipwrecks were found off the coast of Colombia on Monday near a centuries-old sunken vessel which is believed to hold billions of dollars of lost treasure, according to the Colombian government.
The new wrecks were discovered as Colombia’s navy conducted underwater monitoring missions on the sunken San Jose galleon.
The two shipwrecks are believed to be a colonial ship and a Schooner from about 200 years ago during the period of Colombia’s war for independence with Spain. There is no information on what those ships might have had on board when they sank.
In addition to locating two new shipwrecks, the mission captured new images of the San Jose and its treasures with a remote camera nearly 3,000 feet below the water’s surface. The images show gold coins, cannons, pottery and china strewn across the ship and bow.
The San Jose sank in 1708 near the Caribbean port of Cartagena. It was discovered in 2015, but its treasures have remain submerged through years of legal battles.
Colombian government officials have declared their power to protect the archaeological find and hope to someday raise the San Jose to display it and its artifacts in a museum.
The San Jose galleon and its treasures have been declared “an archaeological, culture and historical heritage,” Marta Lucia Ramirez, vice president and chancellor of the Submerged Cultural Heritage of Colombia, said in a February press release.
“When they are extracted, they will be in a museum of shipwrecked species, which will be a source of pride for Colombia, the Caribbean and the world.”