Elizabeth's "pirate" ship raised from floor of the Thames

After 400 years, a ship, believed to be the Cherabin, will be celebrated once again in England. The "state pirate ship," sponsored by Queen Elizabeth I, has been raised from the floor of the Thames estuary to find a new home in the National Dive Centre in Stoney Cove, Leicestershire. (photos)

The privateer Cherabin was tasked as a trading ship between England and Turkey, but in reality served as a pirate ship to plunder other countries', especially Spain's, trading fleets. It sank during a storm in the Thames estuary near Kent in 1603 and was re-discovered in 2004. The newly-raised shipwreck bears a striking resemblance to the Cherabin and is believed to be one and the same.

Privateering was state-sponsored terrorism formally sanctioned by the High Court of Admiralty, conducted by merchant and private shipping on the high seas - and therefore lying outside the contemporary definition of a declaration of all-out war between two sovereign states, said Dr Gustav Milne, an honorary senior lecturer at University College London's Institute of Archaeology who led the project. "If our wreck is indeed the Cherabin, then it probably is the first merchantman of that era yet recovered that led the double-life of honest trader and ruthless privateer."