Sunken World War II cargo ship holds fortune in silver
200 tons of silver, worth about £150 million found in the Atlantic
The SS Gairsoppa, a U.K. cargo ship sunk by a German U-boat in 1941, has been found by U.S. exploration firm Odyssey Marine. That's not all that was found - it's been determined that the rotting vessel on the Atlantic Ocean's floor contains 200 tons of silver worth about £150 million. It's been declared as the largest haul of precious metal ever discovered at sea.
Only one crewmember from the 85-strong crew that survived the torpedo attack as the ageing steamer tried to reach Ireland.
Three members of the crew survived in a lifeboat and reached the Cornish coast two weeks later, but two died trying to get ashore. Second Officer Richard Ayres was the only one who made it to the Cornish coast alive. He was awarded an MBE for his attempts to rescue his fellow sailors and lived until 1992.
The wreck of the 412-foot ship was found this summer nearly 4,700 miles below the North Atlantic, 300 miles off the Irish coast. It was confirmed as the SS Gairsoppa as recently as last week.
"We've accomplished the first phase of this project - the location and identification of the target shipwreck," Odyssey Marine's senior project manager Andrew Craig says. "Now we're hard at work planning for the recovery phase.
"Given the orientation and condition of the shipwreck, we are extremely confident that our planned salvage operation will be well suited for the recovery of this silver cargo."
Remote-controlled robotic submarines should be able to retrieve the bullion. Work would begin in the second quarter of 2012, Odyssey said.
It's "highly unlikely" that any human remains would be found, given the age and depth of the wreck. "Even though records indicate that the lifeboats were launched before the ship sank, sadly most of her crew did not survive the long journey to shore," Odyssey's chief marine archaeologist Neil Dobson says.
"By analyzing the known configuration and research about the Gairsoppa and her final voyage and painstakingly exploring the shipwreck site to record each element and item, our team of experts was able to positively identify the site as the Gairsoppa.
"By finding this shipwreck and telling the story of its loss, we pay tribute to the brave merchant sailors who lost their lives."
© 2011, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: S.S. Gairsoppa, shipwreck, silver, millions
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Europe News
- St. John Paul II: Reliable Reports Affirm Second Miracle, Canonization This Year
- Pope Francis Adds Name of St Joseph to Every Mass in the Eucharistic Prayer: What Does it Mean?
- Pope Francis To G8 Global Leaders: Goal of Economics is to Serve Humanity
- Fr. Pavone: Gosnell Babies are NOT Unclaimed and Deserve Burial
- Fall of the Wall of Silence: More on Pope Francis and Reports of a 'Gay Lobby' in the Roman Curia
- Social networking taking off in BIG WAY in Europe - and many are senior citizens
- Pope Teaches the Faithful What it Means to Be a Part of the Church, the People of God
- NAUGHTY TEENS: When an adolescent is blocked from an Internet site - it's usually pornographic
- Money Changers in the Temple: Tel Aviv redefines itself as Gay Capital of the World
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?