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Shipwreck salvagers say they have found more than 200 million in silver

Bryan Alaspa's picture

Explorers looking over a shipwreck in the North Atlantic, and sunk during World War II by a German U-Boat, has been found my salvagers and they say it contains a huge treasure.

The group known as Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. said on Monday that they had found the wreck of the SS Gairsoppa. The ship was a British vessel used to carry cargo across dangerous U-Boat-infested waters during World War II. The ship went down in February of 1944.

According to media reports, the ship is resting in 4,700 meters of water. That translates to about 15,419 feet beneath the surface of the Atlantic. It is also located at about 300 miles off the coast of Ireland. The manifest of the ship says that it was carrying about 600,000 British pounds worth of silver at the time.

Of course, things are much different and the price of silver has gone up since then. Given the price of an ounce of silver at the close of the trading bell last Friday, the total amount of silver on that ship would now total more than $210 million.

According to a statement from Odyssey it would be, “the largest known precious metal cargo every recovered from the sea.”

So far the explorers have only seen the ship remotely. They told the press that they had sent down a remote camera and submarine vehicle and had returned video of the wreck. The video and photographs were able to confirm the identity of the vessel. Now the company is going to start sending down vehicles that can recover the treasure.

Odyssey’s CEO said he was confident that the recover operation could take place in a reasonable time frame despite the depth of the wreck. He stated that they will benefit from the fact that the ship hit the bottom of the sea sitting upright. He also stated that the holds appear to be wide open, which will make it easier for vehicles to get inside and remove the cargo.

The company says that they plan to start the recovery of the treasure in the spring of 2012.

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