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Odyssey ceases recovery

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  • | 3:27 p.m. September 25, 2012
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TAMPA — Citing changing weather changes in the North Atlantic and a previous commitment of its vessel to another charter, Odyssey Marine Exploration has halted recovery operations on the SS Gairsoppa and SS Mantola shipwrecks.

Odyssey will resume operations to recover cargo from the two deepwater shipwrecks in the second quarter of 2013, it says in a news release. Odyssey's ship will offload about 17,000 ounces of silver and other artifacts before it continues to Norway to conclude its charter. So far, the company has recovered enough silver to contribute about $26 million to its net income in 2012, the release says. The company posted a $15.60 million loss in net income in the second quarter.

Tampa-based Odyssey (symbol: OMEX, recent price: $2.76) began working on the project June 4. Odyssey says since then, it has opened and cleared 70% of the spaces in the SS Gairsoppa that could contain silver cargo. It recovered 1,218 silver ingots from the ship, which are estimated to be worth $44 million. It also recovered several hundred artifacts.

The company says it believes about 1.8 million ounces of silver remain on the SS Gairsoppa, and about 600,000 ounces are on the SS Mantola. Odyssey says it plans to clear the remainder of the SS Gairsoppa within 30 to 45 operational days of returning to the site next year.

“Our team has proven its ability to efficiently execute complex operations at a depth of 4,700 meters (15,600 feet) to complete both the deepest cargo salvage and largest
recovery of precious metals ever accomplished,” Mark Gordon, Odyssey president and COO, says in a release. “We've proven that we can make precise cuts, gain access to interior areas of a steel shipwreck, and recover cargo from a shipwreck deeper than the Titanic.”


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