A Florida company has completed a record-setting shipwreck excavation that yielded among its $35 million treasure 60 tons of silver ingots.
Odyssey Marine Exploration, a publicly-traded concern out of Tampa, reportedly completed work this summer on the SS Gairsoppa, sunk by a German U-boat on Feb. 17, 1941, in the North Atlantic with all but one of the 85 people aboard killed or lost at sea
The New York Daily News reports that Odyssey Marine Exploration recovered 1,574 silver ingots, or 60 tons of the precious metal, from the wreck.
“I just got a chill up my spine thinking about it,” Mark Gordon, the company’s president and CEO, told The News. “It’s unbelievable. We’re the first people in 70 years to solve this mystery.”
The paper reports that the first silver bar OME recovered from the Gairsoppa is now being featured in the ongoing exhibit “Shipwreck! Pirates & Treasure” at Discovery Times Square.
“It’s a thrilling moment,” Odyssey Senior Project Manager Andrew Craig told The News. “Not only did we find treasure, we accomplished something that most people thought was impossible.”
For more than 70 years, the ship’s wreck languished at a depth of about 15,000 feet, or until OME experts employed robotic equipment to surgically knife their way through the ship’s torpedoed hull, into the ghostly wreck, itself.
“We know now we can be successful at this depth,” Craig reportedly added. “This opens up new targets in our portfolio to go after in the deep ocean.”