The insurance firm, Lloyds of London, has said it has no intention of searching the crash site of Swissair flight 111 for precious stones. Last week, a relative of one of the victims formally protested against Lloyd's application for a salvage licence.
The aeroplane was carrying diamonds worth an estimated 200 million dollars when it crashed off the coast of Nova Scotia in September 1998. But in a statement, Lloyds insisted that it had never intended to recover the gems.
"The reputation of Lloyds is dependent upon its integrity," the statement said. "Because of this Lloyds will not allow diving at the site of the accident and will respect the desires of the bereaved."
The company also apologised to friends and family of the 229 passengers and crew who died in the crash, for any unnecessary anguish it may have caused. Lloyds said it had only applied for a licence to deter treasure-seekers from trying to recover the precious stones.
An investigation to find the cause of the crash is still underway.
swissinfo with agencies