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Odyssey finds two shipwrecks off coast of Ireland

Odyssey Marine Exploration has found two more shipwrecks in the Atlantic.

The Tampa-based underwater salvage company filed documents in federal court this week, serving notice of the find and asking the court to give it sole salvage rights to haul up and sell anything of value.

Both ships were steel-hulled, resting roughly 100 miles off the southwest coast of Ireland, court documents said. One was in 400 meters of water, the other 600 meters.

Neither ship has been positively identified, Odyssey attorney Melinda MacConnel said. She declined to provide many other details, except that "there is evidence of valuable cargo."

Odyssey, which made a splash by recovering Spanish gold and silver from colonial-era wrecks, has now filed salvage claims on 11 sunken ships, MacConnel said.

Odyssey stock jumped 6 percent at the opening of Thursday's market, but then declined as the day progressed. It closed at $3.64, up only slightly from the previous day's close.

Under admiralty law, people who discover old wrecks can petition for salvage rights, blocking other salvagers from moving in.

According to Odyssey's petition, the company used sonar and magnetometer equipment to find the vessel this fall. Odyssey has since surveyed and photographed the site and already spent considerable money on the project.

Odyssey finds two shipwrecks off coast of Ireland 11/06/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 6, 2008 10:44pm]
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