SS Gairsoppa 48 Tons Of Silver - Garisoppa Silver Sunken WWII,SS Gairsoppa silver, $38 million Gairsoppa, A record-breaking 48 tons of silver bullion have been recovered from the SS Gairsoppa, a World War II shipwreck, three miles beneath the ocean's surface. Odyssey Marine Exploration, a leader in deep-ocean shipwreck exploration, announced on Wednesday that their initial retrieval effort yielded 1,203 silver bars-merely 20 percent of the total silver cargo estimated to be on board and 43 percent of the insured silver bars.
Mark Gordon, Odyssey president and COO, told the Daily News, “After we discovered the shipwreck in September 2011, we began assembling the suite of equipment we’d need: tethered robots, lights and tools that can withstand the crushing pressures of the deep as well as computers that coordinate the distant but delicate action.”
Odyssey CEO, Greg Stemm, said, "Our success on the Gairsoppa marks the beginning of a new paradigm for Odyssey in which we expect modern shipwreck projects will complement our archaeological shipwreck excavations." This operation marks the heaviest and deepest recovery of precious metals from a shipwreck, according to Odyssey's announcement.
The UK Department for Transport contracted Odyssey for this project. The agreement entitles Odyssey to 80 percent of the cargo's value, after covering search and recovery expenses. The company contacted JBR Recovery, metal processing specialists, to support monetization of the silver.
Odyssey will also explore the SS Mantola, a second modern shipwreck, which is estimated to contain 600,000 oz. of insured silver. A Nazi U-boat torpedoed the SS Gairsoppa during the Second World War.
The UK government owns the insured cargo since they made an insurance payment of £325,000 to the merchant ship's owners in 1941. The British Government routinely insured privately owned cargo through the War Risk Program.
The recovered treasure has been transported to a secure facility in the United Kingdom.
Odyssey expects to complete operations by the third quarter of this year.
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