Underwater explorer Franck Goddio searches for the remains of a British trading ship lost off a coral reef in the Philippines in 1773. Using two-man submersibles, divers videotape the wreck and use the vehicles' external "arms" to retrieve artifacts, which are brought to the surface in a specially built lift basket. The Royal Captain, laden with Chinese porcelain, spices and silk acquired in Canton, was making her way through a treacherous passage when she hit a deep-sea shoal. The captain and crew abandoned the ship; one week later a rescue mission found no trace of it. In 1985, Goddio found a cannon and a great bow anchor that confirmed the log of the Royal Captain, but other treasures were hidden. This crew returned to the shoals to search for the remains of the Royal Captain.