Saturday, February 26, 2005

 

Odyssey concludes Atlantic operations and moves to Mediterranean

__________________________________________________________________________________

Odyssey Marine Exploration press release.

TAMPA, FL - February 24, 2005 - Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (Amex: OMR) a leader in the field of deep ocean shipwreck exploration, has concluded current operations on the SS Republic shipwreck site and other sites in the Atlantic.

The company's 251' deep ocean archaeological platform, the Odyssey Explorer is now en route to the western Mediterranean to begin operations shortly after arrival.

The SS Republic was a paddlewheel steamer that sank during a hurricane in 1865 while en route from New York to New Orleans with post-war supplies and currency.

Odyssey Marine Exploration discovered the shipwreck in August of 2003 nearly 1700 feet below the surface of the Atlantic. Odyssey was awarded title and ownership to the SS Republic shipwreck and cargo in March 2004.

In October of 2003, during the pre-disturbance survey of the site, the shipwreck was positively identified as the SS Republic when the ship's bell was located.

Shortly after commencement of the archaeological excavation of the site, a substantial number of gold coins were revealed using Odyssey's Sediment Removal and Filtration (SeRF) system. More than 51,000 coins have been recovered including $20.00 Double Eagles, $10.00 Eagles, Half Dollars and a few Quarter Dollars.

Unlike other recently salvaged shipwrecks, a wide variety of dates and mints have been noted in this find. The collection includes many finest-known examples of United States gold and silver coins from the period.

According to John Albanese, Numismatic Marketing Strategist for Odyssey, the retail value of coins recovered to date is expected to exceed $75 million dollars.

Coins from the SS Republic have been professionally conserved by Numismatic Conservation Services, a leading authority in numismatic conservation, and graded and encapsulated by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.

In addition to the coins, approximately 14,000 artifacts have been recovered from the SS Republic. Artifacts recovered include more than 200 different bottle varieties, religious artifacts, ceramics, pottery and some personal effects.

Many artifacts and rare items of cargo will be kept in Odyssey's permanent collection for exhibit and study. Some of the cargo items and trade goods (bottles and other cargo) will be released for sale through http://www.ssrepublic.com/ .

During the SS Republic archaeological excavation, the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), ZEUS completed 262 dives to the shipwreck site and debris field, logging almost 3500 hours of bottom time. The longest dive made by ZEUS lasted 72.5 straight hours.

A database with over 60,000 records was created by the team as they recorded excavation and survey activities on the site. More than 13,000 underwater digital still photographs and over 3500 hours of high resolution video on DVDs and tape have been recorded while surveying and excavating the site.

A high definition video camera system was integrated into the ZEUS/Odyssey Explorer system which produced beautiful HD video of the shipwreck site as well.

"Our offshore team has been doing things that have never been done before and we are setting high standards for deep ocean archaeology," stated Greg Stemm, Odyssey co-founder. "The Explorer's work on the SS Republic site was a fantastic testing ground to prepare our equipment and our team for our next high profile projects.

Based upon the experience we gained through the Republic recovery, we believe that we could now perform an archaeological recovery on a similar vessel in substantially less time."

Odyssey's SS Republic project has been the subject of a one-hour National Geographic Ultimate Explorer television episode, Dateline NBC, a one-hour National Geographic Special, "Civil War Gold" that aired on PBS, and a feature article in National Geographic magazine.

The project has also been featured in hundreds of media stories around the world including coverage on the Oprah show, ABC's Good Morning America, CBS Early Show, NBC Today show, ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News and the New York Times.

The coins recovered from the SS Republic shipwreck site to date represent approximately 25% of the face value that research indicates was on board the Republic when it sank in 1865.

When the additional coins expected on the shipwreck site were not found within the main hull area, Odyssey began to search the debris field. The additional coins were not located in the recently completed debris field search, but Odyssey intends to return to the shipwreck site in the future with additional technology and equipment.

"We hoped that we could locate the remainder of the coins in the debris field, but it looks like we will have to come back at a later date." commented John Morris, Odyssey CEO. "In spite of some really nasty weather out there in January and February, we have completed a search of that area that could be efficiently covered by our current technology. A more thorough exploration of the debris trail can probably be done later given some additional time with some more advanced sensing technology, but it is time to move on to our next project and get started as soon as possible."

In addition to the work on the SS Republic shipwreck site, the Odyssey Explorer also mapped the shipwreck site known as the "Blue China" and did a preliminary excavation recovering 400 artifacts. An additional unidentified 18th Century shipwreck site was also explored and surveyed.


____

Comments: Post a Comment



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?