Odyssey Marine makes huge recovery of sunken treasure - WFLA News Channel 8

Odyssey Marine makes huge recovery of sunken treasure

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Three miles down, somewhere off the coast of Ireland a valuable treasure has been waiting to be discovered and recovered.

Over the last two years, Tampa based Odyssey Marine has been working to make this dream a reality.

The treasure was on board the S.S. Gairsoppa, a World War II British cargo ship.

During the war, the Gairsoppa was on a secret mission.

7/22/2013 Related Story: Tampa's Odyssey recovers 61 tons of silver from shipwreck

The ship was hauling it's valuable cargo from India to Great Britain when it was sunk by a German U-boat.

After working over two seasons, Odyssey Marine recovered 61 tons of silver, an estimated $34 million dollars in today's prices.

Odyssey founding partner Gregg Stemm says it wasn't easy.

Stemm says, " Very carefully you have to cut the deck, cut the steal, peal it back, cut the beam, peal it back, it's very, very complicated operation."

Stemm says the operation happens at unbelievable depths.

At three miles deep, the Gairsoppa is further down than the wreck of the Titanic.

Stemm says, "Often, when we're flying at about 15-thousand feet, I look down and try to imagine having a cable that far down and trying to get work done."

Stemm says insurance records indicate there were 28 hundred bars of silver on the ship.

His company was able to recover all by 25 of the bars.

Before the recovery operation began, Odyssey worked out a deal with the British government.

Odyssey will keep 80 percent of the treasure found and Great Britain keeps 20 percent, risk free.

Stemm says it's like found money for the taxpayers of that country, ten million dollars worth of found money.

Stemm says his company is already working to find more lost treasure.

Stemm says, "There are governments that are getting more and more interested in working with Odyssey and our technology allows us to go almost anywhere in the ocean, there's a lot of projects to go work on out there."

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