A father and son are going to live a dream, and, they hope, make a few million dollars doing it.
In a couple of months, Thomas and Mark Bergman will set sail to recover about $400 million worth of gold, silver and other precious metals from a sunken ship.The Bergmans are building a salvage boat in Riverdale and will head for the Pacific Ocean in about two months. The men and their crew will then go south in search of a Spanish galleon that sank off the coast of Costa Rica about 200 years ago.
"We're going to go look for gold. It's people's dreams. We just live it," said Mark Bergman. "It's a dream. Everybody is looking for sunken treasure or a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow."
Both men have been working on the project for about two years. They started by buying a 35-foot rescue boat from the U.S. Coast Guard, and now they are building around and on top of the structure to make it into a 55-foot treasure-hunting vessel.
Mark Bergman said they hope to haul the boat down in two pieces to San Diego in the spring and then take off on their adventure.
Thomas Bergman said he became interested in searching for treasure when he discovered some artifacts that had washed ashore on Panama a few years ago. He said the artifacts came from the Spanish galleon.
So now he plans to return, taking about 20 divers with him, and he expects to find the sunken treasure.
He said he researched the sinking of that Spanish galleon before starting work on his boat, and he is sure he will find the sunken ship filled with millions of dollars of treasure.
Thomas Bergman said the ship went down about 200 yards off the coast of Costa Rica during a storm.
He said he already has a permit from the Central American country, and if he strikes gold, the Costa Rican government will get half of whatever they bring up.
He also said the project has sparked interest from other treasure hunters, and National Geographic magazine will keep an eye on their progress.
"It's a real adventure," Thomas Bergman said. "We've been all over the world and we've had many an adventure, but this will be the best, especially if we find gold." - Beverly DeVoy.