COLIN WHYTE FROM BSAC Folkestone 501 told me that all the marbles found by the early-day divers had been returned to Turkish ambassador Ozdem Sanberk as the result of collaboration between the UK and Turkish governments.
The British Museum had estimated their value at £25,000, and the divers had received a salvage award from the Turkish authorities through the Receiver of Wreck.
The marbles are now displayed in the Anatolian Civilisations Museum in Ankara.
The remaining treasure is unaccounted for, in particular a statue of Nysa that Van Lennep mentioned in his letter to Leiden Museum.
In June this year we organised a Dover Wrexpedition, involving an international team of divers from the UK, USA, Italy and Belgium. Once again weather and visibility “forced us” to dive the Castor, and it didn’t disappoint. After briefing the guys on the story of the ship, they were all eager to go first!
Descending to the wreck, I noticed that Brian Robinson and skipper Dave Batchelor of the Neptune had made a good call in diving this site, because the visibility was the best we had experienced all week.
I saw that my Italian friend Edoardo Pavia had swum his line towards the bow, and decided to follow it. Everywhere the ship’s details and fittings were lying around, like the beautiful winches, where buddy Kenneth Dupont paused for a while to pose for me.
Capstan fallen through the deck down into the hold.
In the hold just in front of the bow I spotted a big capstan that had fallen through the rotten deck. In the bow section, still quite well-preserved, I saw Edoardo and Eddie dropping into the holds to take a look inside.
The visibility was getting stirred up, so I decided to head for the stern section. The tide had dropped and visibility was even better than before, making it possible to see the entire engine, a great sight.
In another hold I saw the remains of wooden planks, and I must admit that my heart skipped a few beats. I investigated the contents, but unfortunately it was only bottles.
The tide turned and the current picked up, so I saluted our American friends, who were still investigating the stern, and headed back to the surface.
We didn’t found the Nysa statue, but we were all in agreement that this was another amazing Channel dive.