A Rare Discovery, Found
By Swedish Treasure Hunters
Well, that's what we call a catch, but it is not a big fish. Scandinavian treasure hunters discovered a treasure with which they could immediately toast to success. Swedish company Ocean X team obtained several bottles of cognac from a ship that sank in 1917.
The Swedish steamship—known as S.S. Kyros—was destroyed by a German U-boat during World War I on account of her “contraband” cargo. According to a release shared by OceanX Team, the ship came from France and was supposed to reach St. Petersburg after traveling through Sweden, but never made it that far. Fortunately, no one was killed in the attack and the crew was transferred to another ship and returned to Sweden. At the time of her sinking, the tipple-packed ship was carrying 50 cases of De Haartman & Co. cognac and 15 cases Benedictine liqueur (this brand was created by monks 500 years ago and is now owned by Bacardi).
The shipwreck—which is located 250 feet under the surface in the international waters between Sweden and Finland—was first discovered in 1999. Several times since the discovery, divers and unmanned underwater vehicles (ROV’s) have accessed the heavily damaged S.S. Kyros as part of a search and salvage project that started some 20 years ago. Last month, the Ocean X Team was finally able to salvage the century-old haul. Best of all: the cognac could still be drinkable. Editor-in-chief of the Alcohol Professor Amanda Schuster told the New York Times the drinkability would depend on many factors, like what type of cognac and liqueur is in the bottles, when exactly it was sealed and whether or not any ocean water or bacteria has found its way in.
Of course, even if the brandy has turned bad, it’s still a momentous discovery. “It’s not only a find of rare cognac and liqueur but also a part of the history of former imperial Russia,” Ocean X Team wrote.