CINCINNATI (AP) -- A fugitive treasure hunter's company has lost its fight to stop deep-sea explorers from bringing up gold and other artifacts from a ship that sank off the South Carolina coast in 1857.
Federal Judge Rebecca Beach Smith in Virginia ruled Wednesday that an Ohio company, Recovery Limited Partnership, has salvage rights to the SS Central America.
Smith rejected arguments from a company called Columbus America Discovery Group that it had exclusive rights to the shipwreck, based on a 1989 court order.
Smith found that at the time, Columbus America was acting as an agent for the other company. She said that relationship means Recovery Limited has the rights.
Recovery Limited has contracted with a Florida company and has been recovering treasure from the shipwreck since April.