A British crew recovered £34 million worth of silver coins from a ship sunk in 1942

The SS City Cargo, a mixed passenger and cargo ship, was carrying around 100 tons of silver coins belonging to the UK Treasury when it was torpedoed by a German submarine in November 1942.

This month, a British-led salvage team announced that it had recovered several tons of the silver coins at a world record depth of 5,150 meters (16,896 feet).

The silver coins are worth an estimated £34 million ($US50 million), according to The Telegraph.

The recovery effort was led by Deep Ocean Search, which started looking for the shipwreck in November 2011. SS City Cargo was travelling from Bombay to England when it was sunk by a U-68, leading to the death of 104 people in the weeks after.

The weather and the ship’s presumed depth made the search challenging. The ship was finally located, buried under meters of mud and broken in two, according to DOS.

“Many items were seen on and around the wreck including the end section of the second torpedo, where the contra-rotating propellers could clearly be seen,” DOS explained in a news release. “Apart from the silver cargo this was the only item recovered from the site.”

The coins were recovered in 2013 under contract to the UK Ministry of Transport.

You can see a selection of images from the shipwreck below. Head over to the DOS website for more information and to check out the full gallery.

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