Odyssey Hunts Nazi-Torpedoed Ship With $260 Million of Silver





Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. (OMEX), the ocean salvager featured in the Discovery Channel series “Treasure Quest,” is trying to recover silver valued at as much as $260 million by October from a ship torpedoed by a Nazi submarine in 1941.

The Tampa, Florida-based company was awarded a contract by the U.K. government last year that would allow it to keep about 80 percent of the bullion treasure of the S.S. Gairsoppa, a cargo steamer sunk by a German U-boat off the Irish coast. There’s an estimated 4 million to 7 million ounces at the shipwreck site, according to Odyssey President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Gordon.

“This is the year we’re going to go out and find it,” Gordon said in an interview. “The total survey and recovery costs will be a fraction of the value. You’d be looking at single-digit millions of dollars for the budget.”

Odyssey aims to salvage Gairsoppa’s cargo from beneath as much as 14,000 feet (4,270 meters) of water amid surging prices for silver, which has more than doubled in the past year, and gold, which rose to a record last week. The company recovered 17 tons of gold and silver coins in 2007 in an Atlantic Ocean operation it codenamed Black Swan. It also plans to hoist treasure from at least five other ships, including HMS Sussex, which sank in 1694 near Gibraltar and may hold gold that the New York Times has estimated is valued at as much as $4 billion....

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