TAMPA, Fla., Sept. 11, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Odyssey Marine Exploration (Nasdaq:OMEX), pioneers in the field of deep-ocean exploration, today announced that the chartered vessel working on the SS Gairsoppa project, the Seabed Worker, will make a scheduled port call in Cork, Ireland, beginning September 12, 2012. After taking on fuel, supplies and changing personnel, the Seabed Worker will immediately return to the site to continue recovery operations under an extension of the charter agreement.
No materials recovered from the shipwreck site will be landed during this port call in Ireland. Pursuant to Odyssey's agreement with the UK Government, the company will not comment on the status of operations or recovery of cargo until any additional silver recovered has been transported to the secure facility in the United Kingdom.
"As with our port call in August, making our regularly scheduled crew change in Ireland instead of the UK allows us to spend an additional two, or more, working days on the site. As the weather conditions tend to become less friendly in the North Atlantic as we get closer to October, every additional day of operations is important," said Mark Gordon, Odyssey President and COO. "The processing of the silver delivered in July remains on schedule with the first portion available for sale in September. We expect all processing of the silver recovered to date to be completed during the fourth quarter. We're delighted by the recent move in silver prices. If they hold or continue to increase, it will significantly boost the value of this project."About the SS Gairsoppa Odyssey is conducting the Gairsoppa project under contract with the UK Department for Transport. Under the terms of the agreement, which follows standard commercial practices, Odyssey bears the risk of search and recovery and retains 80% of the net salved value of the Gairsoppa silver cargo after recovering its expenses. The contract was awarded to Odyssey following a competitive tender process. The Gairsoppa was a merchant ship torpedoed by a German U-boat during World War II. During the War, the UK Government insured privately owned cargo under their War Risk Insurance program. After making an insurance payment of approximately £325,000 (1941 value) to the owners of the silver cargo lost aboard the Gairsoppa, the UK Government became the owners of the insured cargo. As some sources, including "Lloyd's War Losses" indicate a total silver cargo worth £600,000 (1941 value) lost aboard the Gairsoppa, there may have been additional government-owned silver cargo aboard that would have been self-insured. Odyssey commenced recovery operations utilizing the chartered 291-foot Seabed Worker in late May after completing a series of reconnaissance dives earlier in the year. Odyssey has contracted JBR Recovery Limited, one of Europe's leading silver recovery and precious metal processing specialists, to support the logistics, refining and monetization of the silver cargo recovered. About Swire Seabed/Seabed Worker 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.
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