Australian Couple find 170 year old Shipwreck

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The Viscount Melbourne

The Viscount Melbourne (source, Mr and Mrs Berekoven )

The wreck of the British cargo ship Viscount Melbourne which sank in 1842, three days after leaving Singapore, has been found by part time marine archaeologists Hans and Roz Berekoven.

The Viscount Melbourne was sailing from India to China when it docked in Singapore to pick up supplies and passengers. Three days sail out from Singapore she was struck by a squall and driven hard up onto a reef. The decision was made to abandon the ship after the bails of wool she was carrying became wet, once the bails started soaking up water, they expanded to the point where they began tearing the ship apart.

After abandoning the ship, the passengers and crew went through an ordeal at sea that had the makings of a Hollywood block buster, battling bad weather and the occasional pirate and finally making land at Borneo after spending several weeks in the life boats.

According to Mr and Mrs Berekoven, the wreck is unlikely to have anything of great value onboard, “No gold, just cutlery and a few bottles of really well aged wine.” as 64 year old Mr Berekoven stated in an interview in Singapore.

The wreck of the Viscount now lies in 40m of water in seas that are seldom calm meaning the Berekovens aren’t able to spend much time on the wreck, according to Me Berekoven however, they are saving up for better equipment “like SCUBA gear.”

Mr and Mrs Berekoven plan to make a documentary on the plight of the survivors, they will also be donating artifacts from the ship to a local maritime museum being set up by Malaysian businessman Troy Yaw who is helping fund the Berekovens salvage project.

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published on May 1, 2011 by jason
tags: , , , , , , , category: wreck

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