Friday, May 25, 2018
Business

Odyssey Marine recovers 61 tons of silver from SS 'Gairsoppa'

Tampa's sunken treasure hunting firm Odyssey Marine Exploration has recovered its largest haul yet, a record-setting 61 tons of silver bullion from the bottom of the North Atlantic.

Odyssey Marine said the recovery of the silver from the sunken British cargo ship SS Gairsoppa is reportedly the largest precious metal recovery in history.

Odyssey retrieved the treasure from a depth of 3 miles below the surface, also a record.

"This was an extremely complex recovery which was complicated by the sheer size and structure of the SS Gairsoppa as well as its depth nearly 3 miles below the surface of the North Atlantic," said Greg Stemm, Odyssey's chief executive officer, in a news release.

In 2010, the United Kingdom Department for Transport awarded Odyssey Marine the exclusive salvage contract for the cargo of the Gairsoppa. In September 2011, the company announced that it had found the ship.

Under a contract with the British government, the Odyssey will retain 80 percent of the value of the silver it recovers, estimated at $210 million.

"We have accomplished a world-record recovery at a depth never achieved before," Mark Gordon, Odyssey's president and chief operating officer, said in the release. "We're continuing to apply our unique expertise to pioneer deep-ocean projects that result in the discovery and recovery of lost cultural heritage, valuable cargoes and important and needed natural resources."

The Gairsoppa, a 412-foot steel-hulled British cargo steamship, began its career in 1919 under the service of the British India Steam Navigation Co. of London. It was engaged in commercial shipping activity in the waters of the Far East, Australia, India and East Africa.

The ship began its final voyage in December 1940 in Calcutta, India, loaded with nearly 7,000 tons of diverse and high-value cargo, including tea and a large quantity of silver that belonged to the British government. The ship joined a convoy in West Africa. Many of the merchant ships in the convoy were in a state of disrepair.

High winds and ocean swells forced the Gairsoppa to slow down. As the weather grew worse and the ship began running low on coal, it began sailing alone, without the protection of the convoy.

A German U-boat attacked the lone ship, spraying the Gairsoppa's 83-member crew and two gunners with heavy machine gun fire. One of four torpedoes fired from the U-boat struck the Gairsoppa, sinking it into the icy waters of the North Atlantic on Feb. 17, 1941. A lone crew member survived the attack, sailing in a lifeboat for 13 days back to shore.

Odyssey's stock price was down about 3 percent to $3.35 when trading ended Monday.

Ivan Penn can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 892-2332.

Comments
Denis Phillips, hurricane season guru, talks his signature beer, suspenders and Rule #7

Denis Phillips, hurricane season guru, talks his signature beer, suspenders and Rule #7

SAFETY HARBOR ó Denis Phillips cracks a pop-top and pulls a can that looks a lot like him to his lips."Itís got that citrusy feel to it," he says. "Which is a Florida thing. Thatís not bad." Indeed, thereís a grapefruit finish to Rule #7 Hurricane Sa...
Updated: 2 hours ago
At Pinellas Parkís iconic model train store, an ownership change goes off the rails

At Pinellas Parkís iconic model train store, an ownership change goes off the rails

PINELLAS PARK ó The iconic model train store that has sat at U.S. 19 and Haines Road for close to 30 years announced on its website it will be moving to another location."Itís difficult trying to stock a store thatís bigger than the reality is these ...
Published: 05/25/18
Behind the deal: $52 million boutique hotel coming to Ybor City started with cafe con leche at La Tropicana Cafe

Behind the deal: $52 million boutique hotel coming to Ybor City started with cafe con leche at La Tropicana Cafe

TAMPA ó Joe Capitano Sr. invested in the 1400 block of E Seventh Avenue in 1985, never doubting the huge potential of the property for Ybor City.But the deal to build a $52 million boutique hotel on the site didnít start to come together until six ye...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Electric to shut down Big Bend coal unit that killed 5

Tampa Electric to shut down Big Bend coal unit that killed 5

APOLLO BEACH ó Tampa Electric Co. is taking a big step away from coal. The Tampa-based utility is spending $853 million to convert its coal-fired Unit 1 at its Big Bend Power Station to natural gas and retire coal-fired Unit 2 in 2021.Five workers di...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Riverview

Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Riverview

RIVERVIEW ó Sprouts Farmers Market is opening a new location in Riverview, the chain announced Thursday. The new store will be located at Summerfield Crossing Shopping Center, though Sprouts did not have a specific opening date.The announcement comes...
Published: 05/24/18
Hooper: More than a restaurant, Lee Roy Selmonís was a meeting place

Hooper: More than a restaurant, Lee Roy Selmonís was a meeting place

Itís where former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Doug Williams had lunch with current Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.Itís where University of South Florida fans often gathered to watch the programís biggest road games.Itís where folks showed up in...
Published: 05/24/18
An Amazon Echo recorded a familyís conversation, then sent it to a random person in their contacts, report says

An Amazon Echo recorded a familyís conversation, then sent it to a random person in their contacts, report says

A family in Portland, Oregon, received a nightmarish phone call two weeks ago."Unplug your Alexa devices right now," a voice on the other line said. "Youíre being hacked."Apparently, one of Amazon.comís Alexa-powered Echo devices in their house had s...
Published: 05/24/18
As home sale prices rise, a lack of homes makes it tough on buyers

As home sale prices rise, a lack of homes makes it tough on buyers

Home sale prices continued to rise both nationally and statewide in April as a prolonged dearth of available homes on the market is making it tough on buyers. A total of 24,804 single-family homes changed hands across Florida last month, up 4.1 perce...
Published: 05/24/18
Brink: A 25-cent hike in the federal gas tax is a rotten idea for Florida

Brink: A 25-cent hike in the federal gas tax is a rotten idea for Florida

No matter your politics, the proposed 25-cent hike in the federal gas tax is a lousy idea.Itís regressive, burdening the poor and working class more than the rich.Federal interference with state transportation projects can raise costs, layer on regul...
Published: 05/24/18
Tutor looks to empower athletes in Wesley Chapel

Tutor looks to empower athletes in Wesley Chapel

Rashay Hudson operates a tutoring business in Wesley Chapel, and NaDorian Hudson has played basketball his entire life, including in college and the ABA. Now, the husband and wife duo are combining their areas of expertise with a new program for kids...
Published: 05/24/18