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Tampa Bay-Lakeland
Business Observer Monday, Jul. 22, 2013 5 years ago

Treasure hunters haul in 61 tons of silver

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Tampa company recovers 1,574 silver ingots from a ship sunk more than 70 years ago.

TAMPA — Odyssey Marine Exploration says it set a new record with its most recent haul of 1,574 silver ingots from a British cargo ship sunk off the Ireland coast during World War II.

Treasure hunters, using remote-controlled underwater vehicles, recovered the silver, valued at as much as $35 million, from the SS Gairsoppa at a depth of about three miles, says a news release. The ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1941.

The 61 tons of silver recovered this month was the second haul from the ship for Tampa-based Odyssey Marine (symbol OMEX; recent price, $3.35). Last year, the company retrieved 48 tons of silver from the SS Gairsoppa.

“We have accomplished a world-record recovery at a depth never achieved before,” Odyssey COO Mark Gordon says in a news release. “We're continuing to apply our unique expertise to pioneer deep-ocean projects that result in the discovery and recovery of lost cultural heritage, valuable cargoes and important and needed natural resources.”

In an agreement with the UK Department of Transport, Odyssey Marine will receive 80% of the salvage value of the find after expenses.

This article has been updated to correct that Odyssey recovered 61 tons of silver.

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