July 22 Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc,
a salvage specialist famous for recovering $500 million in
bullion from a shipwreck off Portugal, said it had recovered
more than 61 tons of silver from a British merchant ship
torpedoed during World War II.
At current prices, the haul is worth about $35 million. That
is $3 million less than what the company fetched for a haul of
48 tons from the same ship last year as silver prices have
tumbled in the last few months.
The recovery, from the SS Gairsoppa, a 412-foot steel-hulled
cargo ship sunk in 1941 by a German U-boat off the coast of
Ireland, consists of 1,574 silver ingots weighing about 1,100
The company said it had not found any uninsured
government-owned silver that it had hoped was aboard the
Gairsoppa, which is lying three miles below the surface.
Odyssey called the latest find "the deepest and largest
precious metal recovery from a shipwreck."
The company has now recovered more than 99 percent of the
insured silver reported to be aboard the ship.
Odyssey said it had moved the silver to a secure facility in
Britain. The company can retain 80 percent of the salvaged value
of the cargo, under its contract with the UK Department of
The Tampa, Florida-based company specializes in recovering
bullion from shipwrecks, but that has led to disputes over
It ran into trouble with a similar salvage operation six
years ago after the Spanish government claimed ownership of the
Black Swan wreck off Portugal, on which it found a reported $500
million in gold and silver in 2007.
The dispute moved to the U.S. courts in 2012 where a judge
ruled in favor of the Spanish government, forcing the company to
hand over the treasure.
The company, which is also engaged in seafloor mineral
exploration, has not posted an annual profit since 2004.
Odyssey Marine shares fell as much as 6 percent to $3.26 in
early trading on the Nasdaq before easing a little to trade down
(Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore; Editing by