The following is the text of a press release issued by Odyssey Marine Exploration:
(TAMPA, Fla.) — Odyssey Marine
Exploration, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMEX), a pioneer in the field of deep-ocean
shipwreck and offshore mineral exploration, has begun 2013 operations
on the SS Gairsoppa shipwreck site as scheduled. On May 22, the Odyssey
team aboard Swire Seabed's Seabed Worker left port in Bergen, Norway.
The team reached the Gairsoppa site and commenced operations on May 29,
after several days awaiting the passage of an intense weather system.
In 2012, Odyssey recovered 1,218 silver ingots weighing approximately
1.4 million ounces from the Gairsoppa site. The company believes an
additional 1,599 insured silver ingots and what could be a substantial
amount of uninsured silver remains at the Gairsoppa site.
After completing silver recovery from the Gairsoppa, Odyssey plans to
begin recovery operations at the SS Mantola shipwreck, which is
believed to contain 600,000 ounces of silver. Recently obtained
research indicates the likely location of the room where bullion would
have been stored on the Mantola.
"Weather in the North Atlantic is now becoming more appropriate for
operations and our 2013 recovery season on the Gairsoppa and Mantola
has begun," said Mark Gordon, Odyssey's president and COO. "The team
and equipment used last year aboard the Seabed Worker helped us
successfully recover a record-breaking 48 tons of silver. This year
we've added some very specific tools to our kit to maximize the
efficiency of the expedition. The ship reports that all the equipment,
including some new technology that was added over the winter, is
working well and they have already made progress on the shipwreck."
About the SS Gairsoppa and SS Mantola
Both the Gairsoppa and Mantola projects are being conducted under
contract with the UK Department for Transport. Under these contracts,
which follow standard commercial practices, Odyssey will retain 80% of
the net salved value of the cargoes after recovery of expenses. Both
merchant ships were torpedoed by German submarines – the Gairsoppa
during WWII and the Mantola during WWI. At that time, the UK Government
insured privately-owned cargo under their War Risk Insurance program.
Some of the silver recovered from the Gairsoppa in 2012 is on public
display in Odyssey's exhibit SHIPWRECK! at Discovery Times Square in
New York City.