Wednesday, March 08, 2006

 

Odyssey Marine Exploration Provides Operations Update; UK Approves Sussex Phase 1A Work Preliminary Exploration of Additional Shipwrecks

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Stock House
March 06, 2006

Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. provided an operations update today.

The report recently submitted to Her Majesty's Government (HMG), which detailed the work completed by Odyssey to satisfy Phase 1A requirements of the Sussex project plan, has been reviewed by the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Sussex Archaeological Executive committee. HMG notified Odyssey that the work detailed in the report met or exceeded all requirements of Phase 1A of the Sussex Project plan and Odyssey is now authorized to proceed to complete Phase 1B of the project. (A public version of the project plan is available for viewing at (http://www.shipwreck.net.)

Odyssey's archaeological team also recently completed a report that will be submitted to HMG detailing work completed during the month of January that includes portions of Phase 1B.

During meetings held last month in Spain with the Spanish government, the Junta de Andalucia, and the Government of the United Kingdom, Odyssey agreed to re-submit an archaeological project plan pursuant to specific requirements requested by Spanish authorities to move the project forward. This plan, which would include collaboration with Spanish archaeologists, is currently being prepared and the Company expects to deliver it to the appropriate authorities in early March 2006.

"We understand the geographic and political sensitivities surrounding this project and we're willing to go to great efforts to show our willingness to work in a cooperative fashion with all governments involved," said Greg Stemm, Odyssey co-founder, after meetings in London and Madrid. "Both Odyssey and HMG have been assured by the Andalucian and Spanish central government authorities that they will expeditiously examine the archaeological project when it is re-submitted in order to allow Odyssey to proceed with the operation in a collaborative manner."

While working towards a resolution of issues relating to the Sussex project, Odyssey's 251' deep-ocean archaeological platform, the Odyssey Explorer, has been deployed to other shipwreck sites in the Mediterranean as part of the Company's ongoing operational program to explore numerous other valuable shipwrecks throughout the world.

Work has been conducted on two shipwreck sites, including completion of photomosaics and preliminary surveys. Odyssey's research indicates that one of the shipwrecks (code-named "Bristol") contains a cargo of gold specie. The Company is currently analyzing the survey data and preparing a recovery plan.

It is anticipated that recovery operations on the "Bristol" project will begin later in 2006, after completion of other scheduled operations, including the Sussex and "Atlas" projects.

The Company's other research vessel, the US flagged RV Odyssey, remains in Gibraltar to continue support of operations in that area.

About HMS Sussex

HMS Sussex was an 80-gun English warship lost in a severe storm in the western Mediterranean in 1694. Research suggests the Sussex was carrying a large cargo of coins when she sank. Odyssey believes it has located the shipwreck of HMS Sussex and has signed an exclusive partnering agreement with the legal owner of the shipwreck, the Government of the United Kingdom, for the archaeological excavation of the shipwreck.

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