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Friday, July 20, 2012

Garisoppa silver sunken WWII

Silver recovered from sunken WWII ship An American company has recovered a massive amount of silver (how many tons?) from the SS Gairsoppa (see photos), a British ship sunk off the coast of Ireland during World War II. The ship is 15,000 feet under the sea (how much is the recovered silver worth?).A U.S. deep-sea
exploration company has recovered about 48 tons of silver from a British cargo ship that was sunk by a torpedo during World War II.
Tampa, Florida-based Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. said on Wednesday that it is the heaviest and deepest recovery of precious metals from a shipwreck.

The haul comes from the SS Gairsoppa, which was hit by a German U-boat about 300 miles (483 kilometers) off Ireland's coast. It sits 15,420 feet (4,700 meters) deep.

So far, workers have brought up more than 1,200 silver bars or about 1.4 million troy ounces. As of mid-day Wednesday, it was worth about 23.7 million pounds (about $38 million).

After unloading the cargo, taking on fuel and changing personnel, recovery operations will continue and are expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2012.

The haul so far represents only 20 per cent of the total silver cargo which research has indicated may be on board.

The company is under contract by the British government and will get to keep 80 per cent of the haul after expenses.

Marine archeologist Neil Cunningham-Dobson, 55, was at the controls of the Remotely Operated Vehicle as the cargo ship SS Gairsoppa and the World War I steamer SS Mantola were discovered in the North Atlantic last year.

An estimated 600,000 oz. of insured silver is expected to be found on the Mantola, a second modern shipwreck recovery project being conducted by Odyssey.

As his team found the SS Gairsoppa last September, all he could think about was his father who served on a similar ship during WWII.

Mr Cunningham-Dobson said in February: 'When the wreck of the Gairsoppa came into view for the first time, three miles down, I couldn't help but think of my late father, Norman.

'He was a radio operator in World War II. He served with the British-India Steam Navigation Company on ships similar to the Gairsoppa.

'So for me it was like looking back at my father - a special moment.'

He said the recovery was particularly challenging because the North Atlantic is three times deeper than the watery grave of the Titanic.

'To extract the treasure you are sending down specialised instruments a length equivalent to three times that of the Tay Road Bridge, to accurately remove from a hold the size of a back garden,' he said.

'With the shipwreck lying approximately three miles below the surface of the North Atlantic, this was a complex operation,' Odyssey CEO Greg Stemm added.

The Gairsoppa was steaming home from India while in the service of the Ministry of War Transport when she was torpedoed by a Nazi U-boat.

Only one of her 84 crew - Second Officer Richard Ayres - survived.

The 412-ft steamship is sitting upright on the seabed, with its holds open.

Odyssey said last September a robot submersible captured video footage showing tea chests, a sign that the heavier consignment of silver was underneath. While the SS Gairsoppa may not be worth its weight in gold, the 412-foot British shipwreck is worth a whole lot in silver -- approximately $38 million of it.

According to Discovery News, treasure-hunting company Odyssey Marine Exploration has salvaged 48 tons of silver treasure from the sunken cargo ship sitting 15,420 feet deep in the North Atlantic. The treasure hunters hauled in a whopping 1,203 bars of silver (a total of 1.4 million ounces) in what could be the deepest, largest precious metal recovery ever.

Based on current precious metal prices, Bloomberg notes, the haul is valued at $38 million, though that's just a fraction of the sunken treasure; Odyssey says this load represents only about 20 percent of all the bullion residing in the Gairsoppa.

That's a whole lot of bling.

"With the shipwreck lying approximately three miles below the surface of the North Atlantic, this was a complex operation,” Odyssey chief executive officer Greg Stemm said in a statement. “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.”

Torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat, the Gairsoppa sat 300 miles off the coast of Ireland since World War II, the Associated Press reports. But the merchant ship's contents were privately insured by the War Risk insurance program, and once the owners were paid, the British government took possession of the Gairsoppa and its cargo.

For its efforts, Odyssey will get to keep 80 percent of the recovered silver, minus expenses, per a contract with the U.K. The marine exploration company hopes to have the remaining cargo recovered within 90 days.

Garisoppa silver sunken WWII Rating: 4.5 Diposkan Oleh: Arm Aritn


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