Sunken Treasure Hunters Latest on 'SS Gairsoppa' Project

Press Release
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Seabed Worker: Photo credit Swire Seabed

Odyssey Marine Exploration inform the 'Seabed Worker', will cease salvage operations to make a scheduled port call in Cork, Ireland.

After taking on fuel, supplies and changing personnel, the Seabed Worker will immediately return to the site to continue recovery operations under an extension of the charter agreement.

No materials recovered from the shipwreck site will be landed during this port call in Ireland. Pursuant to Odyssey's agreement with the UK Government, the company will not comment on the status of operations or recovery of cargo until any additional silver recovered has been transported to the secure facility in the United Kingdom.

"As with our port call in August, making our regularly scheduled crew change in Ireland instead of the UK allows us to spend an additional two, or more, working days on the site. As the weather conditions tend to become less friendly in the North Atlantic as we get closer to October, every additional day of operations is important," said Mark Gordon, Odyssey President and COO.

"The processing of the silver delivered in July remains on schedule with the first portion available for sale in September. We expect all processing of the silver recovered to date to be completed during the fourth quarter. We're delighted by the recent move in silver prices. If they hold or continue to increase, it will significantly boost the value of this project."

Odyssey is conducting the Gairsoppa project under contract with the UK Department for Transport. Under the terms of the agreement, which follows standard commercial practices, Odyssey bears the risk of search and recovery and retains 80% of the net salved value of the Gairsoppa silver cargo after recovering its expenses. The contract was awarded to Odyssey following a competitive tender process.

The Gairsoppa was a merchant ship torpedoed by a German U-boat during World War II. As some sources, including "Lloyd's War Losses" indicate, a total silver cargo worth £600,000 (1941 value) was lost aboard the Gairsoppa, there may have been additional government-owned silver cargo aboard that would have been self-insured.


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