Lonely Planet Writer

US$50 million recovered from ocean floor

A silver rupee.
A silver rupee. Image by Dinesh Cyanam / CC BY-SA 2.0

A British-led team has recovered US$50million worth of silver coins from the bottom of the Atlantic. The salvage operation took place at a depth of 5150m, making it the deepest in history. The treasure was originally being brought from Bombay to England in 1942 by the steamship SS City of Cairo when it was torpedoed by a German U-boat some 772km south of St Helena. The silver rupees were being called in by London to help fund the World War II effort. Only six of 311 people aboard died in the attack, but 104 of the survivors died before being rescued weeks later. It was 51 days before the final lifeboat was discovered near South America, with only two of its many passengers alive. In a cruel twist of fate, one of them was killed when the ship taking him home was torpedoed. Read more: bbc.co.uk