(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –A Russian warship that sank 113 years ago has been found off the coast of a South Korean island, salvagers say.
The Shinil Group, a South Korean firm, says it found the vessel Dimitrii Donskoi near Ulleungdo island.
Companies have claimed in the past to have found the wreck, amid historic rumours of treasure on board.
The cruiser was scuttled by her crew in 1905 after Japan’s victory in the Battle of Tsushima – a key moment of the Russo-Japanese War.
Setting sail in 1885, the armoured cruiser served in the Mediterranean and the Baltic before heading to the Pacific.
While not badly damaged in the battle itself, the ship fell behind the fleet and was attacked by the Japanese. Her crew scuttled the Donskoi off Ulleungdo.
Rumours persist that the Donskoi was carrying the gold for Russia’s Pacific Fleet, used to pay crew salaries and docking fees – gold which would be worth billions of dollars if found today.
But no proof exists that the ship carried gold, with academics raising doubts that a warship would carry such valuable cargo.