Odyssey Marine - Press Release
- February 24, 2005
Odyssey Concludes Atlantic
Operations and Moves to Mediterranean
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Odyssey Marine Exploration is an American Stock
Exchange Company (Ticker symbol: OMR) with several
shipwreck projects in various stages of development
throughout the world, including the SS Republic
and HMS Sussex projects. Additional information
about Odyssey, its projects and equipment is available
- END -
The Company believes the information set
forth in this Press Release may include "forward-looking
statements" within the meaning of the Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section
27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section
21E of the Securities Act of 1934. Certain factors
that could cause results to differ materially
from those projected in the forward-looking statements
are set forth in "Risk Factors," and
"Business" in the Company's annual report
on Form 10KSB for the year ended February 29,
2004, which has been filed with the Securities
and Exchange Commission.