Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Case of 480,000 oz. of Klondike gold

Found an interesting write up at, the story is about a decade old court case over salvage rights to 480,000 ounces of gold. Yes nearly a half million ounces of Klondike gold!

At $1600 us per ounce that haul is worth about $768,000,000 ! Can you imagine finding that! What would that experience feel like, and no wonder it took a decade to settle it.

The steamship SS Islander carrying the gold from the Klondike and sank near Juneau, Alaska, August 15 1901. The ship was full with passengers, mail and 480,000 oz. of gold bullion. The SS Islander was favoured by businessmen and wealthy since it was better outfitted than most vessels.

Around 2 a.m. on Aug. 15 the Islander hit an iceberg in Lynn Canal, south of Juneau.Within five minutes, the bow was completely underwater making the ship inoperable. The boat sank 15 minutes later. Forty people lost their lives.

When the boat sank, salvage was not possible due to the depth and low temperatures under the water. A salvage company did managed to raise two thirds of the hull in 1934 but 60 feet of the forward hull section, the heavier part of the boat, broke away and stayed on the bottom.

Both Ocean Mar and Yukon Recovery made separate expeditions in the '90s and discovered the hull section independently leading to the dispute.U.S. District Court Judge H. Russel Holland said Ocean Mar located the vessel first, disappointing rival company Yukon Recovery.

Read the Story - Link at

No comments: