Salvage work on South China Sea shipwreck resumes

Salvage works on the wreck of the Nan’ao No. 1, a Ming Dynasty-era ship sunk off the coast of Shantou in Guangdong, China, is set to begin with the start of the good-weather season that starts from now until June.

Relics to be salvaged from ancient ship
China Daily, 10 April 2010

The salvage of relics from a sunken ancient merchant vessel has resumed after six months of suspension in Shantou, a coastal city in South China’s Guangdong province.

Cui Yong, captain of the Guangdong marine archaeological group, said on Thursday that his group is ready to restart the salvage work of the Nan’ao No 1, a vessel that sank in the late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) in the South China Sea.

“Currently, the only permission we are waiting for is from the weather,” Cui said.

More than 10,000 pieces of antique porcelain are expected to be salvaged from the sunken vessel in three months, if everything goes smoothly.

The three month period, from April to June, is usually the best time to salvage sunken vessels, as typhoons and other tropical storms have yet to hit the Chinese coast, Cui said.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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