Adventurers search for deep sea sixpence 

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08 April 2021
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A trio of adventurers has announced a modern-day, deep sea treasure hunt to find a single six pence that ‘changed worldwide communications forever and saw the first step toward the creation of a global community’. 

The ambitious deep-sea treasure hunt aims to locate a special sixpence, placed at the core of the world’s first ever subsea cable laid over 150 years ago by entrepreneur Cyrus West Field, which paved the way for the invention of the internet.

Good luck sixpence

Field connected the Old World to the New World for the first time, laying a cable from Nova Scotia, Canada all the way to Ireland. For good luck, Cyrus welded a sixpence into a joint in the cable somewhere in the mid-Atlantic.

Setting off from the Irish coast in June, the adventurers will mirror the original route taken over 150 years ago.


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Founders of one of the world’s first subsea cable recycling companies, Sebastian Stephens and Russell Parsons, along with team member Richard Wills, will be joined by a captain and crew as they set off on the ambitious adventure. 

Setting off from the Irish coast, Sebastian, Russell, Richard and their team will head toward Newfoundland in Canada, mirroring the original route taken by Cyrus West Field back in 1858. 

Leader of the treasure hunt, Sebastian Stephens, said:

‘Cyrus West Field connected the Old World to the New World for the first time ever in history over 150 years ago. Achieving what many thought was impossible, Cyrus laid a cable from Nova Scotia, Canada all the way to Ireland. 

‘For good luck, Cyrus welded a sixpence into a joint in the cable somewhere in the mid-Atlantic. It’s a piece of history that’s almost been forgotten, but we’re determined to retell Cyrus’ story. We’re setting out to find the coin and remind the world where global communications began. 

'You don’t often get the chance to touch history, especially the stories submerged under the sea, but Field’s work took blood, sweat and tears, and we want to shine a light on how pivotal this moment in time was.’ 

A communication revolution

In 1858, the fastest ships would take two weeks to send a message. The cable laid by Cyrus West Field, meant a full message could be relayed in hours. Its impact was immediate and revolutionary.

The first communication on the cable took place between Queen Victoria and 15th US President, James Buchanan. 

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