World

Dive into the legendary shipwreck of San Jose

Spanish galleon San Jose, referred by many as the "holy grail of shipwrecks", has finally been found. The ship is the fantasy of treasure hunters as it is said to be carrying chests of jewels, gold and silver bullion coins. Infographics artist TEOH YI CHIE looks at the Nov 27 discovery.

San Jose was part of a Spanish fleet sent to Americas to bring back precious stones and metals such as gems, gold and silver.

Actual design of San Jose is not known. This is an artist's impression based on other galleons in the same time period.

Of the 600 crew on board, only 11 survived when the galleon exploded and sank after it was shot by British ships.

San Jose's treasure chests hold pieces of gold, silver coins and jewels, which are estimated to be worth between S$1.4 billion and $24 billion. Columbia's ownership is challenged by treasure hunters, Sea Search Armada and the Spanish government.

 

WHERE SAN JOSE SANK

The shipwreck's exact location was not released by the Colombian government but records point to the coast of Cartagena, Colombia. The galleon was sunk by British warships in 1708.

San Jose was accompanied by 16 ships during battle.

HISTORY OF SAN JOSE

The galleon was built by the Spanish Navy and launched in 1698.

 

WHAT IS A GALLEON

A galleon is a full-rigged multi-deck sailing ship commonly used in the 15th to 18th centuries by European states. It was built for war but later used for trade. The largest galleons were built by the Spanish and Portuguese. San Jose was 45.7m in length with a beam of 13.7m.

REMUS 6000 AUV

The Remus 6000 is an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle designed for exploration and mapping purposes in the sea. It can function up to 6km in depth.

This is the unit that discovered the wreckage of San Jose.

CANNONS

San Jose was identified by her unique bronze cannons, engraved with dolphins. There were 60 on the multi-decked ship. The cannons consist of 10-pounders and 18-pounders. The 'pound' rating refers to the weight of the iron shot fired by the cannon.

"One of the warships in 1708. greatest – if not the biggest, as some say – findings and identification of underwater heritage in the history of humanity."

— Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos