Salvage company hope to recover silver from WWII wreck.
A sunken ship could be holding £150m-worth of silver according to a US salvage company that hopes to bring the estimated 200 tonnes of bullion to the surface in spring.
The SS Gairsoppa was sunk by a German U-boat off the coast of Ireland in February 1941 and Odyssey Marine, which discovered the wreck’s remains earlier this month, believes that it could be hiding a huge stash of silver in the lower sections of the ship.
No silver was found in a preliminary examination of the wreck but records relating to the SS Gairsoppa claim that at the time it was sunk it was carrying silver bullion, and the discovery of tea chests, which would have been stowed on top of a heavier cargo such as silver, have buoyed the exploration group’s hopes of finding the stash of precious metal.
According to law, any recovered silver belongs to the Treasury, however it is written into Odyssey Marine’s contract, which it won from the Uk government in 2010, that it will retain 80% of any goods recovered from a wreck. Therefore, should the silver be found it will equate to a £30m boost for the government.