This is a representational image. In this photo, gold bars are displayed at South Africa's Rand Refinery in Germiston May 30, 2006. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

A Russian Imperial Navy ship that sunk 113 years ago with $130 billion in gold bars and coins was found by explorers, media reports said Wednesday. Dmitry Donskoi was discovered off South Korea’s Ulleungdo Island by Seoul-based maritime salvage company Shinil Group.

The 5,800-ton ironclad cruiser was badly damaged during the Battle of Tsushima in May 1905 after it was attacked by Japanese warships. The cruiser was scuttled by its crew so the Japanese couldn’t seize what is believed to be gold worth billions of dollars. According to reports, Dmitry Donskoi was carrying 5,500 boxes of gold bars and coins — weighing some 200 tons.

“The body of the ship was severely damaged by shelling... One-third of the stern is bombarded and the hull is severely damaged," according to the Shinil Group, that aims to raise the ship in October or November. “However, the upper deck of the wooden hull is almost untouched. The armor on the side of the hull is also well preserved, while the anchors, guns and machine guns remain in place.” All three of the ship’s masts and its two chimneys are broken.

There are rumors the cruiser was carrying the gold for Russia's Pacific Fleet, to be used to pay crew salaries and docking fees. However, there is no evidence so far of the treasure being aboard Dmitry Donskoi.

In its statement, Shinil Group said it had found a large amount of iron boxes in the ship’s stern, and “will take measures to preserve them.”

Photos of the cruiser, built in 1883, were posted online and footage of the team's alleged discovery was shared on YouTube.

This is not the first time a wartime wreck is believed to have been a source of fascination for treasure hunters. The S.S. Minden, a German cargo ship scuttled in waters near Iceland during the early days of World War II is rumored to hold up to $130 million worth of Nazi gold. According to U.K. tabloid the Sun, the ship set off from Brazil in 1939 apparently to deliver gold from South American banks to Germany. After British naval forces spotted the vessel, the captain decided to sink it rather than have it seized.