The 50m privateer Lord Clive, sunk by the Spaniards in 1763, was discovered off the coast of Uruguay in 2004 by adventurer Ruben Collado. He now has permission from the Uruguay govt to bring up the remains.
|Collado and model of Lord Clive|
The ship, equipped to wage war for 3-4yrs, may have been carrying extensive amounts of gold.
The muddy waters and fast currents of the River Plate will prove to be serious obstacles for the recovery team. As well, the Lord Clive is covered with tons of rocky material that crews must remove first. Recovery efforts for the remains of the six-story high ship should begin this August.
Background: The vessel was originally HMS Kingston, a 60-gun Royal Navy ship, launched on 13 March 1697. She had an eventful career, taking part in numerous battles.
The ship was sold to privateers linked to the East India Company on 14 January 1762, and renamed Lord Clive.
That same year (during the Spanish-Portuguese War of 1761-1763), these privateers, fighting for Portugal, planned to conquer Spanish territory in South America. They organised a raid on Buenos Aires, but the idea was soon abandoned as the Spanish were too well-prepared.
On January 6, 1763, they tried to capture Colonia del Sacramento (on the opposite bank of the River Plate). Lord Clive and several other ships started bombardment, but encountered strong resistance from the city gun battery.
After three hours, a fire broke out on Lord Clive: it rapidly spread and, when the magazine blew up, she sunk immediately - 272 were killed.