Odyssey Marine Exploration, a pioneer in the field of deep-ocean shipwreck exploration, announced this week that it discovered a shipwreck that was torpedoed during World War I while carrying a shipment of silver.
The SS Mantola sank on Feb. 9, 1917, after being torpedoed by German submarine U-81. Odyssey discovered the shipwreck approximately 8,000 feet beneath the surface of the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately 100 miles from the SS Gairsoppa shipwreck.
In 1917, the British Ministry of War Transport paid a War Risk Insurance Claim for £110,000 (in 1917 pounds) for silver that was on board the Mantola when she sank. This sum would equate to more than 600,000 ounces of silver based on silver prices in 1917. In September, the U.K. Government Department for Transport awarded Odyssey a salvage contract for the cargo of the SS Mantola. Under the agreement, Odyssey will retain 80 percent of the net salved silver value recovered.
The Odyssey team recently conducted ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) operations from the RV Odyssey Explorer to inspect the site.