Sunken World War II Merchant Ship Found

Posted September 26th, 2011 at 8:00 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

A 1941 casualty of war has been located off the coast of Britain. The British merchant ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat while carrying 200 tons of silver. The silver was to help fund the British war effort.

Odyssey Marine — an American underwater salvage firm — announced Monday it had located the S.S.Gairsoppa at a depth of nearly 4,700 meters in the North Atlantic.

Odyssey Marine hopes to begin the salvage efforts in the coming spring. Under a deal with Britain, Odyssey Marine will retain 80-percent of the silver's value. The remaining 20-percent will be returned to the British government.

The ship came to rest in an upright position, its hatches open. Odyssey Marine says the ship's resting position will help in the recovery efforts.

Some of the 85-man crew survived the initial torpedo attack by boarding life boats. After 13 days at sea, only one crew member was saved.

The 200 tons of silver is valued at an estimated $200 million.