American salvagers recovered about 61 tons of silver off Ireland in what's said to be the largest and deepest recovery ever of precious metal from a shipwreck.
The Gairsoppa was a casualty of World War II. The 412-foot British cargo steamship was struck by a torpedo fired by a German U-boat in 1941. The ship had been traveling from India to Britain loaded with tons of cargo, "including a large quantity of silver bullion," according to Odyssey. It sank about 300 miles off Ireland to a depth of 15,400 feet -- about 3,000 feet deeper than the wreckage of the Titanic.
According to Odyssey, the total in silver that crews have pulled from the vessel is about 110 tons.
The company, which finds sunken ships and sells artifacts, has made a number of notable discoveries and is exploring other shipwrecks, including the SS Mantola -- sunk in 1917 by a German submarine -- and the HMS Victory -- which sank in 1744.
The discovery in 2009 of the long-sought wreck of the Victory was widely publicized. A marine archaeologist told The Times then that it was "the naval equivalent of the Titanic ... the only intact collection of bronze guns from a Royal Navy warship in the world."
Odyssey has been both lauded and criticized for its work in the past.
"I don't approve of treasure hunting," marine archaeologist George Bass of Texas A&M University said in an interview with The Times at the time of the Victory's discovery.
"I would like to think that historic shipwrecks would be treated like historic monuments on land," he said, "not broken down and sold for profit."