Fourth Victory hit Black Rock off Alderney

A US company has found the wreck of HMS Victory – the predecessor to Nelson’s flagship – which sank in 1744 near the Casquets with hundreds of sailors on board.

The ship, the fourth of six HMS Victories, is thought to contain 100,000 gold coins. She was separated from the rest of the fleet during a storm and sank on October 4, 1744. The lighthouse keeper on Alderney was subsequently prosecuted for failing to switch on the lights.

After months of secrecy, Odyssey Marine Exploration is expected to confirm today that the ship is indeed the Victory. Odyssey has raised at least 16 brass cannons from the wreck of the Victory, and experts estimate the ship’s 100 guns would now be worth between £10,000 and £20,000. It is also thought to be searching for the ship’s gold coins.

The company had been searching for other shipwrecks when divers came across HMS Victory. A spokesman said, “We found it more than 50 miles from where anybody would have thought it went down.”

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