Shipwrecks

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SS Gairsoppa
SS Mantola
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SS Mantola Project Overview

The SS Mantola was a 450 foot British-flagged steamer which set sail from London on February 4, 1917, carrying passengers and cargo - including a shipment of silver - to Calcutta, India. On February 8, 1917, she was struck by a torpedo from a German submarine. The 165 crew members and 18 passengers abandoned the ship. All but seven crew members, who drowned when their lifeboat overturned, were rescued by the HMS Laburnum. An unsuccessful attempt was made to tow the Mantola before she sank on February 9, 1917 – less than a year after she was launched.

In 1917, the British Ministry of War Transport paid a War Risk Insurance Claim for £110,000 (in 1917 value) 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 2011, the UK Government Department for Transport awarded Odyssey a salvage contract for the cargo of the SS Mantola. Under the agreement, Odyssey will retain 80% of the net salved silver value recovered.

The target shipwreck was located using the MAK-1M (deep-tow low frequency sonar system), aboard the chartered Russian RV Yuzhmorgeologiya. Visual inspection of the site was conducted with a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) from the Odyssey Explorer. The Mantola was discovered more than 2,500 meters below the surface of the North Atlantic Ocean, in international waters approximately 100 miles from the Gairsoppa site.

The video, still images and additional data from the expedition are being used to evaluate the condition of the shipwreck and to plan for recovery operations, which will be conducted in conjunction with recovery operations on the SS Gairsoppa shipwreck.

For more information on the history of SS Mantola see SS Mantola History
For an operational overview of the project click here
For answers to FAQ about the Mantola click here

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