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Divers begin search for 400-yr-old Spanish treasure off Isle of Mull

London, Mon, 08 Dec 2008 ANI

London, Dec 8 (ANI): A new mission has been launched to recover the hoard of treasure believed to be on a Spanish galleon that sank in the waters surrounding the Isle of Mull 400 years ago.


According to a report in the Guardian, divers will begin to sift through the silt at the bottom of Tobermory Bay in an attempt to recover the valuable cargo, reputed to have been intended to bankroll the ill-fated Spanish invasion of England in 1588.


It is the second time that Sir Torquhil Ian Campbell, the 13th Duke of Argyll, has launched such a mission.


The mystery of where the battle-scarred ship lies has puzzled treasure hunters for centuries.


Local folklore says that the vessel, which was laden with gold, jewels and priceless historical artifacts, is at the bottom of Tobermory Bay.


Following the armada's defeat at the hands of Sir Francis Drake, many Spanish ships fled north to escape the English fleet, but became caught up in violent storms.


Legend claims that the treasure-carrying vessel also succumbed to the weather and its own battle damage, or was blown up by a clan chief when the crew tried to leave without paying a substantial levy.


Over the years, there have been almost 20 attempts by members of the Campbell family to find the treasure, which, apart from a handful of gold and silver coins, weapons, medals and a few human bones, has eluded searchers.


The current Duke, however, has refused to give up and has launched another mission, in which a team of 10 expert divers has begun searching the seabed for the treasure, which is rumoured to be worth more than 30 million pounds.


According to Alison Brockway, a spokeswoman for the Duke of Argyll, "Nothing has been found yet, but the investigation is in its very early stages." (ANI)


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