Odyssey Marine's Search for the SS Gairsoppa

"The largest precious metal recovery from the deepest ship wreck ever recovered..."

Greg Stemm - CEO Odyssey Marine

The Final Voyage of SS Gairsoppa

Gairsoppa Montage

Sunk by Nazi torpedo, 300 miles off the coast of Ireland with 200 tonnes of silver

The SS Gairsoppa was a British Merchant Navy vessel carrying supplies to Fortress Britain at the height of the Second World War.

Lost from the safety of her Atlantic convoy and running low on fuel, she makes for the safe port of Galway alone.

Just days later, spotted by a German aircraft, she is soon hunted down and torpedoed by Nazi Uboat U-101, sinking within 20 minutes.

Of her 85 man crew of young British officers and Indian lascar crew, only 1 lifeboat escapes into the night captained by heroic Second Officer Richard Ayres. Navigating the freezing Atlantic waters for 13 days, Ayres loses almost all his crew. With only three survivors they spot land, the Cornish coastline. But they are not safe yet!

Tossed in the surf, the lifeboat crashes on the treacherous cliffs and only one survivor makes it ashore alive. Found by 3 evacuee schoolgirls, Richard Ayres is the sole survivor from the fateful SS Gairsoppa.

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The SS Gairsoppa

SS Gairsoppa In December 1941 the SS Gairsoppa departed Calcutta, India ladened with cargo and destined for Britain.

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“Silver Rush” on Discovery

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December 1940 - Hooghly River, Calcutta, India
British India Steam Navigation Company vessel SS Gairsoppa departs Calcutta with a classified payload, bound for London. But the mysterious death of the ship's purser leaves the crew scared and the officers at each other's necks...

February 15th, 1941 - Atlantic waters, approx. 283 miles Sq of Galway Bay
Slowed down by bad weather and running low on coal, SS Gairsoppa requests permission to detach from the convoy and proceed alone to Galway to refuel. The very next day she is torpedoed by U-101, she sinks by the bow in 2,600 fathoms of water. Three lifeboats deployed, two lost without trace.

March 2nd 1941 - Caerthillian Cove, Cornwall
Three evacuee schoolgirls from London discover a smashed lifeboat and the bodies of three sailors washed up in the surf. But one man is moving, one man survived...


July 2012 - City of London
Alex Turner is under pressure. His private investment house is short, heavily short. And the stock keeps rising. The bank and his clients are on the phone. They could wait. He just needed a little more time.

Royal Courts of Justice, Fleet Street
BBC Breaking News: Rising criticism of the coalition's handling of the Odyssey Marine case. The inquiry reconvenes today and the ruling is expected in the favour of the salvage company as to their share...

Ocean Odyssey Dive Ship - 283 miles WSW from Thunder Rock
The assembled dark bodies in the control room held their breath as their tried to get a look at the pair of screens projecting a grainy image. Spotlit in the foreground was the submersible's robotic arm. The new million dollar cutting tool was finally at work, making its way through the cargo doors for the first time in 70 years...

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