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Iceland Mag

Archeology

Suspected treasure hunters stopped at sea off the Westfjords

By Staff

  • Ísafjörður The suspected treasure hunters were brought to harbour in Ísafjörður after having been stopped by the Icelandic Coast Guard. Photo/Pjetur Sigurðsson.

A foreign research vessel was stopped by the Icelandic Coast Guard sixty nautical miles west off the Westfjords last week and brought to harbour in Ísafjörður. The ship was engaged in marine research without proper permits.

Suspected of treasure hunting
After having been brought to harbour the crew of the ship, which is called Endeavour and operated by an American company, told Icelandic authorities they had been engaged in depth measurements and searching for shipwrecks in the ocean between Iceland and Greenland. 

The local news site visir.is reports that the crew is suspected of having been on a treasure hunt, searching for a ship carrying a valuable cargo. The crew has not divulged any information on what ship exactly they were looking for.

The hunting grounds of German U-Boat "wolf packs"
A great number of ships was sunk in the Second World War by German U-Boats who preyed on convoys sailing between the US and Murmansk, Russia.

Recently a team operating from the Octopus, the superyacht and research vessel of American billionaire and philanthropist Paul Allen recovered the ship bell from the HMS Hood, which was sunk by the German Battleship Bismarck west of Iceland in one of the greatest sea battles of the Second World War.

Read more: The mission of the Octopus revealed: The recovery of HMS Hood‘s bell

Any marine exploration within the 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone of Iceland requires a permit from Icelandic authorities. The Foreign Ministry told visir.is that they had no record of an application for Endeavour to engage in such research. It is not yet clear whether authorities will press charges against the crew of the Endeavour for engaging in research without proper permits. 

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