Odyssey Marine Exploration has announced the discovery of the SS Mantola, a World War 1 ship which was sunk on 8 February, 1917, the announcement comes a short while after the discovery of the SS Gairsoppa which was found 100 miles way.
Mantola, which carried 165 crew and 18 passengers, was torpedoed and shelled by a U18 boat. The HMS Laburnum came to the assistance of SS Mantola and took the survivors to shore while Mantola was left to sink
Like Gairsoppa, SS Mantola also carried a cargo of silver. According to an insurance claim from 1917, 600,000 ounces of silver were on the ship, and Odyssey Marine Exploration has announced that they have secured the salvage agreement with the UK government.
Commenting in a press release, Mark Gordon Odyssey President and COO, said;
“The incremental costs to search for the Mantola were low, as this was a contingency project in the event that our team successfully completed the Gairsoppa search early.”
“We are planning to conduct the recovery expedition in conjunction with the Gairsoppa recovery, which will also make the operation very cost efficient. Securing our ownership rights prior to recovery and funding our business from cash-flow produced from operations has been a key focus for us. Our share of this successful recovery in 2012 will contribute significantly to our operational funding.”
Plans for the salvage operation of both Mantola and Gairsoppa are underway and while an exact date isn’t specified for when the operation will begin, the company says it is likely it will start in Spring 2012.