FKA Kiteboarding Forums  

Go Back   FKA Kiteboarding Forums > MAIN FORUM > Something Rich And Strange ... Diving Tales From The Water Underworld
Connect with Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/rick.iossi
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-27-2011, 10:05 PM
RickI's Avatar
RickI RickI is offline
Administrator
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,682
Default Wreck With $200 M In Silver Found In 2600 Fathoms Off Ireland


The SS Gairsoppa shown in the targeting reticule of the U-Boat periscope in WWII with silver bullion.
http://www.coinweek.com/



The vessel in better days before crossing paths with the U-boat

Some history:

"Gairsoppa SS was a British Cargo Steamer of 5,237 tons built by Palmers, Hebburn, England for MOWT as the WAR ROEBUCK SS but completed as the GAIRSOPPA SS for the British India SN Co. On the 17th February 1917 she was torpedoed by German submarine U-101 and sunk.

The SS Gairsoppa was a British cargo steamship that began her career in 1919 under the service of the British India Steam Navigation Company. She engaged in commercial shipping activity in the waters off the Far East, Australia and East Africa. By January 1941, the SS Gairsoppa was enlisted in the service of the UK Ministry of War Transport.

She started her final voyage from Calcutta, India in December 1940 loaded with nearly 7,000 tons of diverse medium and high-value cargo, including 2600 tons pig iron, 1765 tons of tea, 2369 tons of general cargo, and a 600,000 UK Sterling silver ignots (3 million ounces).

Departing without a military escort, the Gairsoppa and convoy SL-64 sailed the dangerous waters of the Atlantic, intending to rendezvous with convoy HG-63, which was escorted by two warships. As the convoy reached the northern latitudes, the Gairsoppa, loaded down with a heavy cargo, was forced to further reduce speed due to high winds and ocean swells.

As the weather worsened on February 14, 1941, the Gairsoppa, running low on coal and with insufficient fuel to keep up with the convoy, was forced to sail independently and to head for Galway in western Ireland.

On February 17, 1941, German Boat Commander Ernst Mengersen submerged his 66.5 meter-long U-boat 101, and torpedoed the Gairsoppa causing her to sink.

Of the 32 crew members who boarded lifeboats after the attack, all perished except for one survivor who, 13 days later, reached shore at the Lizard lighthouse, Cornwall, England."
http://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?58703#111608


A side scan sonar image of the wreck
http://www.welt.de/



"The SS Gairsoppa lies approximately 3 miles below the surface of the north Atlantic Ocean. The ship sank after being hit with a torpedo on February 17, 1941. Odyssey discovered the shipwreck in 2011 and inspected the site with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). What appear to be tea chests were observed in one cargo hold that was accessible to the ROV. The Gairsoppa's cargo manifest included more than 1700 tons of tea and up to 7 million ounces of silver."



The location of the wreck
http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/


More about the salvage project currently underway:
"SS Gairsoppa Project Overview

The SS Gairsoppa was a 412 foot steel-hulled British cargo steamship that was enlisted in the service of the United Kingdom Ministry of War Transport and sunk by a German U-boat on February 17, 1941, approximately 300 miles southwest of Galway, Ireland.

The UK Ministry of War Transport paid an insurance loss of approximately £325,000 at the time for silver bars lost with the ship. In 2010, the United Kingdom (UK) Government Department for Transport awarded Odyssey, through a competitive bid, the exclusive salvage contract for this cargo from the SS Gairsoppa. Under the salvage contract, Odyssey will retain 80% of the net salved value of silver bullion recovered under the contract. Additional, uninsured silver may be aboard as well. Sources, including Lloyd’s Record of War Losses indicate a cargo of silver worth £600,000 at the time, which would equate to approximately 7 million total ounces of silver.

The shipwreck was located using the MAK-1M (deep-tow low frequency sonar system), aboard the chartered Russian research vessel RV Yuzhmorgeologiya. Visual inspection of the site was conducted with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) from the Odyssey Explorer. The video and still images acquired during the exploration of the shipwreck with the ROV were reviewed and analyzed at length to confirm the identity of the shipwreck as that of the SS Gairsoppa. The expedition and resulting data was also used to evaluate the condition of the shipwreck and to plan for recovery operations, which are expected to commence in the second quarter of 2012."
Continued at: http://www.shipwreck.net/ssgairsoppa.php



"The binnacle housing the stern compass of the SS Gairsoppa shines in the lights of Odyssey’s Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) during a visual inspection of the site approximately 4,700 meters deep."
http://www.shipwreck.net/



"A ladder leading up onto the forecastle deck of the SS Gairsoppa shipwreck approximately 4,700 meters deep. One of the cargo holds can be seen at left."
http://www.shipwreck.net/



The colors and background on the shipping line.
http://www.wrecksite.eu/


"The skylight over the engine room and a lifeboat cradle on the SS Gairsoppa, discovered by Odyssey Marine Exploration approximately 4,700 meters deep."
http://www.shipwreck.net/


You can checkout some of Odyssey's past finds at: http://www.odysseysvirtualmuseum.com./

Odyessy has been racking up some significant deepwater finds. Using contemporary technology in remote sensing and deep immersion ROVs they have been able to not only find but salvage booty from heretofore inaccessibly deep wrecks. So, once the treasure is gone, sold off piece meal or melted into engagement rings, the wreck has been disturbed and deterioration started again and irreplaceable information lost for future generations, what then? The romance of treasure is one thing, but there are cultural resources that may be lost in exchange for some short term profit for all time after. It is the way of the world however it is a shame though a good deal may be lost in the process as has happened with so many shallow wrecks. There are still more issues in play with this project explored in the article at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...?newsfeed=true


.
__________________
FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi

Last edited by RickI; 09-27-2011 at 10:40 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-21-2011, 12:10 AM
MSC13's Avatar
MSC13 MSC13 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 74
Default

Fascinating story. Thanks for posting.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-22-2011, 08:28 PM
RickI's Avatar
RickI RickI is offline
Administrator
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,682
Default

You are welcome! Technology has enabled the location and salvage of far deeper wrecks than ever before. I suspect there will be more like this, that is until most have been found and salvaged?!
__________________
FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:43 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.

Do not advertise outside of [COM] Forums.
Do not show disrespect for others in your postings.
Users can be denied access to this Site without warning.
FKA, Inc., it’s officers and moderators are not responsible
for the content of the postings and any links or pictures posted.

Report Problems by PM to “administrator” or via email to flkitesurfer@hotmail.com

Copyright FKA, Inc. 2004, All Rights Reserved.