Silver shipwrecks

Date:27 February 2012 Tags:, , ,

Treasure hunters have located two wrecks in international waters off the coast of Ireland – and more than R1,6 billion in silver they are believed to have been carrying. Tampa, Florida-based Odyssey Marine Exploration pinpointed the vessels using an MAK-1M sonar scanner towed several kilometres below the surface; remotely operated subs were later deployed to confirm the wrecks’ identities. The SS Gairsoppa, a 125 m-long British cargo ship torpedoed by the Germans in 1941, held the majority of the loot, an estimated 7 million ounces of silver. The 450-foot SS Mantola, sunk in 1917, is believed to have contained another 198 000 kg of silver. Robotic salvage missions will begin in mid-2012; the company and the British government will share the profits 80/20, respectively. – AH

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