Shipwreck With $210M in Silver Found Off Ireland

Ship was sunk by German U-boat in 1941

By Greg Wilson
|  Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011  |  Updated 6:48 AM CDT
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Shipwreck With $210M in Silver Found Off Ireland

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A shipwreck discovered by a Florida company may hold more than $200 million worth of silver.

A British ship carrying $210 million worth of silver when it was sunk by a German U-Boat has been found three miles deep in the sea off of Ireland.

Tampa-based Odyssey Marine Exploration found the wreck of the SS Gairsoppa, which was loaded with 240 tons of silver, iron and tea when it left India bound for Liverpool in December, 1940.  Weather conditions separated the ship from its military convoy and the ship, running low on fuel, tried to make it to Galway before a torpedo from a German submarine struck its hull  300 miles southwest of the Irish harbor on Feb. 17, 1941, according to the Telegraph,

Only one of the 85 crewmembers survived to make it to shore.

Odyssey Marine sought the wreck under a contract with Great Britain that gives the salvage company 80 percent of the profits.

"We were fortunate to find the shipwreck sitting upright, with the holds open and easily accessible," Greg Stemm, CEO of Odyssey, told the paper. "This should enable to us to unload cargo through the hatches, as would happen with a ship alongside a cargo terminal."

Odyssey is expected to begin recovering the treasure in the spring.

 

The Financial Times reported that the hoard is worth $210 million at current silver prices, which had risen dramatically this year before a sharp drop last week.

Odyssey was also responsible for the discovery of the wreck of HMS Victory, a powerful warship which sank in the English Channel in 1744.

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