White Star Line's RMS Republic foundered at sea January 24, 1909. She was the largest and most luxurious passenger liner lost at sea to that date, and was replaced in that ignominious role only by Titanic, another White Star Liner which was lost just three years later.
Martha's Vineyard Scuba Headquarters, Inc. (MVSHQ, Inc. or the "Company") was formed in 1981 to search for and salvage the RMS Republic. MVSHQ, Inc. is a closely held private company. The Company located a vessel that it believed might have been RMS Republic in 1981, filed its admiralty claim in the US District Court in Boston on that "unidentified, wrecked and abandoned steamship" in 1982, and confirmed that, indeed, it had located the RMS Republic, in 1983. The RMS Republic is located approximately 50 miles south of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, in international waters 270 feet beneath the surface. The wreck has been referred to as deep, dark and dangerous, located in one of the most treacherous stretches of the North Atlantic, a shipping traffic lane known for its congestion (the wreck of the Andrea Doria, lost also as a result of collision, lies just 6 miles distant), unpredictable and often fog-bound weather, often strong and erratic currents, and shark infestation. The Company has worked the Republic extensively, primarily in 1987, and has re-established its claim to the vessel within the US District Court, Boston, in 2000.
Captain Martin Bayerle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Company. He is experienced with deep-sea cargo recovery operations, and for many years had owned and operated a sport scuba diving and charter boat business in Brooklyn, New York. He was rated as a Master Instructor (#1761) and Instructor Training Course Director through the Professional Association of [Scuba] Diving Instructors. He is also a licensed aviation pilot. He holds B.A. (Interdisciplinary Studies) and B.Sc.B.Ad. (Magna Cum Laude) degrees, both conferred by Fairmont State College, Fairmont, West Virginia, and West Virginia University awarded him his M.B.A. degree.
The Company has recovered approximately 2000 artifacts from RMS Republic, which represent less than a fraction of a percent of the artifacts available for recovery.
The Company continues to maintain its salvor-in-possession status by making periodic expeditions to the wreck site. MVSHQ, Inc. is also engaged in the business of speaker-engagements and other media promotions, preserving and exhibiting the artifacts recovered from the Republic wreck site, as well as selling certain genuine, original White Star Line and Edwardian-period artifacts that it has recovered to private individuals, artifacts that are already adequately represented in the public museums of the world, and quality reproductions.
In addition, the Company will continue its search for the elusive legendary treasure rumored and believed to have been lost aboard the Republic - a treasure that may be worth today in excess of $1.6 billion, and which may exceed $5 billion or even $10 billion or more. The Company has narrowed its search - with now less than (but the most difficult) 20% of the vessel left to explore - to areas of the ship that its research indicates are most likely to contain "the Czar's treasure."
The Company's motto is Audentes Fortuna Juvat.
Additional information regarding the RMS Republic's treasure, media coverage, legal status, the Company's on-site operations, and how to contact us ("How to Participate"), can be found beginning at the main page and throughout the rest of this website, http://rms-republic.com.