A Florida-based sea exploration company recovered more than 61 tons of silver bullion valued at over $36 million from a World War II shipwreck off the coast of Ireland, reports CNBC News.
Odyssey Marine Exploration announced its amazing find on Monday. The wreck is the SS Gairsoppa, a 412-foot, steel-hulled British ship that sank in February 1941. According to the company, it is the deepest and largest precious metal recovery from a shipwreck ever made.
“This was an extremely complex recovery which was complicated by the sheer size and structure of the SS Gairsoppa as well as its depth nearly three miles below the surface of the North Atlantic,” Greg Stemm, Odyssey’s chief executive officer, wrote in a news release. “To add to the complications, the remaining insured silver was stored in a small compartment that was very difficult to access.”
The company will keep 80 percent of the salvaged wreck’s cargo and the the other 20 percent will go to the U.K. government. Odyssey’s portion of the proceeds will go towards future projects. For now, the silver has been transported to a secure location in the U.K.
The company used remotely operated vehicles, heavy launch and recovery systems and other specialized deep-ocean equipment to hull the silver off the ocean floor.
“This is our fourth or fifth success,” Gordon said. “This is what we do.”
The price of silver has risen since the announcement of the incredible find, making it even more valuable.