Greg Brooks, a shipwreck hunter from Sub Sea Research, in Gorham, Maine, and his crew are targeting a $3 billion platinum treasure on a sunken World War II merchant ship destroyed by a German U-boat off Cape Cod.

Brooks told The Associated Press that the ship wreck is in 700 feet of water 50 miles offshore. The wreck is said to be that of the Port Nicholson, a British vessel that was torpedoed in 1942. Brooks said he and his crew positively identified the hull number using an underwater camera.

I'm going to get it, one way or another, even if I have to lift the ship out of the water, Brooks said. He added that a federal court judge has granted him the salvage rights.

The ship wreck hunter and his crew are expected to begin salvage operations this month or early March. They will do so on board a 220-foot vessel called Sea Hunter and will get help from a remotely operated underwater vessel.

Brooks has reportedly been in the shipwreck business for almost 20 years. His biggest find, according to The AP, came from a pirate ship near Puerto Rico.

The load of platinum that the Port Nicholson was reportedly carrying could be the richest pile ever discovered at the bottom of the sea, The AP reported. Brooks told the news organization that the Port Nicholson was travelling from Nova Scotia to New York with 71 tons of platinum when it was destroyed.

The shipment of platinum was intended as payment from the Soviet Union to the United States, Brooks said.