U.S. treasure-hunter Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. announced Monday that it recovered more than 61 tons of silver from a British cargo ship that sank in 1941 off the coast of Ireland.
The 1,574 silver ingots were removed from the SS Garsoppa, a vessel measuring 125 meters (412 feet) long that was torpedoed by a German submarine in February 1941, Odyssey said in a press release.
The haul "sets a new record for the deepest and largest precious metal recovery from a shipwreck," the company said, adding that the silver is being warehoused at a secure facility in Britain.
In all, since Odyssey began recovery work in 2012, the firm has removed 2,792 silver ingots from the SS Garsoppa.
Under the terms of the contract Odyssey signed with Britain's Department of Transport, the Florida-based company will retain 80 percent of the value of the recovered shipment.
In 2010, the British government reached an agreement with Odyssey for the firm to have the exclusive authorization to carry our recovery work on the Garsoppa.
"This was an extremely complex recovery which was complicated by the sheer size and structure of the SS Garsoppa as well as its depth nearly three miles below the surface of the North Atlantic," Odyssey CEO Greg Stemm said.
This is the first large project Odyssey has undertaken after its lost a court case to retain possession of the treasure it extracted from the Spanish ship Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, valued at $500 million. The company was forced to return the treasure to the Spanish government in February 2012. EFE