BUSINESS
10/10/2011 11:16 EDT | Updated 12/10/2011 05:12 EST

Company finds ship full of silver that sunk in 1917 at bottom of Atlantic

TAMPA, Fla. - A sea exploration company said Monday it has discovered a ship filled with silver, some 2,400 metres beneath the surface of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. said it found the remains of the British SS Mantola, which sank Feb. 9, 1917. It was torpedoed by German submarine U-81.

The ship was insured to carry silver worth 110,000 British pounds when it sailed in 1917. That value would mean that the ship could hold as much as 600,000 ounces of silver based on silver prices in 1917. Odyssey will retain 80 per cent of the value of the silver that's recovered. At current market prices, that much silver would be worth more than $19 million.

The company is planning a recovery expedition next spring. It said its share of the proceeds will contribute significantly to funding its future operations.

The shipwreck is about 160 kilometres away from another earlier found by the Odyssey. The SS Gairsoppa sank in 1941 carrying a reported cargo of up to seven million ounces of silver.