TAMPA, Fla., (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMEX), a pioneer in the field of deep-ocean shipwreck and offshore mineral exploration, has begun 2013 operations on the SS Gairsoppa shipwreck site as scheduled. On May 22, the Odyssey team aboard Swire Seabed's Seabed Worker left port in Bergen, Norway. The team reached the Gairsoppa site and commenced operations on May 29, after several days awaiting the passage of an intense weather system.
In 2012, Odyssey recovered 1,218 silver ingots weighing approximately 1.4 million ounces from the Gairsoppa site. The company believes an additional 1,599 insured silver ingots and what could be a substantial amount of uninsured silver remains at the Gairsoppa site.
After completing silver recovery from the Gairsoppa, Odyssey plans to begin recovery operations at the SS Mantola shipwreck, which is believed to contain 600,000 ounces of silver. Recently obtained research indicates the likely location of the room where bullion would have been stored on the Mantola.
"Weather in the North Atlantic is now becoming more appropriate for operations and our 2013 recovery season on the Gairsoppa and Mantola has begun," said Mark Gordon, Odyssey's president and COO. "The team and equipment used last year aboard the Seabed Workerhelped us successfully recover a record-breaking 48 tons of silver. This year we've added some very specific tools to our kit to maximize the efficiency of the expedition. The ship reports that all the equipment, including some new technology that was added over the winter, is working well and they have already made progress on the shipwreck."
Both the Gairsoppa and Mantola projects are being conducted under contract with the UK Department for Transport. Under these contracts, which follow standard commercial practices, Odyssey will retain 80% of the net salved value of the cargoes after recovery of expenses. Both merchant ships were torpedoed by German submarines - the Gairsoppa during WWII and the Mantola during WWI. At that time, the UK Government insured privately-owned cargo under their War Risk Insurance program. Some of the silver recovered from the Gairsoppa in 2012 is on public display in Odyssey's exhibit SHIPWRECK! at Discovery Times Square in New York City.
About Swire Seabed
Swire Seabed AS represents experience and ultra-modern equipment for deep waters in the subsea industry. The Company provides high quality services within inspection, maintenance & repair, construction support and subsea decommissioning. In addition, Seabed has expertise, experience and special equipment for deep sea wreck salvage. Seabed operates worldwide with the two vessels Seabed Worker and Seabed Prince.
Seabed Worker is an 88 meter multi-purpose support vessel. As a standard spread, the vessel has accommodation for 66 people, Class 2 DP System, 650 m2 deck area, Voith Schneider propulsion with active roll stabilization, active heave compensated 100 Te offshore crane, a Perry Slingsby 4000 m XLX ROV and a Schilling HD 5000m (moonpol) ROV. For the salvage operations, in 2012 the Seabed Worker was also fitted with specialized equipment.
About Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.
Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMEX) is engaged in deep-ocean exploration using innovative methods and state-of-the-art technology for historic shipwreck projects, modern commodity shipwrecks and mineral exploration. Odyssey offers various ways to share in the excitement of deep-ocean exploration by making shipwreck treasures and artifacts available to the general public, students, and collectors through its webstore, exhibits, books, television, merchandise, educational programs and virtual museum located atwww.OdysseysVirtualMuseum.com. The company also maintains a Facebook page athttp://www.facebook.com/
For more information about Odyssey, visit www.odysseymarine.com.
Odyssey Marine Exploration believes the information set forth in this News Release may include "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Report Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1993 and Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934. Certain factors that could cause results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements are set forth in "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.