01 July 2005

Odyssey Marine Exploration provides operational update

Odyssey Marine Exploration, a leader in the field of deep-water shipwreck exploration, provided an operational update on several shipwreck projects.

The discussions between Odyssey, the Kingdom of Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the regional government of Andalucia, regarding the British warship HMS Sussex, as well as cultural interests and underwater archaeology in the region, are ongoing. Greg Stemm, co-founder of Odyssey Marine Exploration, has returned from talks with representatives of the Junta de Andalucia, where he was accompanied by representatives of both the U.S. and UK governments.

"The discussions with the Spanish authorities have been very cordial and helpful in settling some issues that had resulted from erroneous media reports. After the talks, I'm confident that all issues relating to our upcoming work in the Western Mediterranean will be dealt with in a timely fashion," commented Stemm upon his return from the talks in Spain.

The Odyssey Explorer has joined the Company's chartered side-scan survey vessel to work in the 2005 "Atlas" search area. (For operational and security reasons, Odyssey Marine does not disclose the geographical location of its targeted search area). Since announcing the start of the "Atlas" search project on May 4, 2005, Odyssey has identified approximately 275 targets and inspected 127 targets with ZEUS, one of the Company's Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV).

Because Odyssey's new, cutting-edge side-scan sonar system allows crews to map the seafloor twice as fast as previous searches, having a deep-water ROV on a second ship to visually inspect targets will result in a more efficient and productive search process. In addition, the weather window for the "Atlas" project typically ends in the fall while work can continue on the Sussex project year-round. The RV Odyssey remains in the western Mediterranean available to do preliminary work on the Sussex site until the Odyssey Explorer returns.

While performing search, survey and archaeological work in the western Mediterranean, the Company located 23 shipwreck sites, produced 14 pre-disturbance photomosaics, and completed preliminary excavations on 7 sites. The archaeological work, accomplished under the direction of Odyssey archaeologists Dr. Hawk Tolson and Neil Cunningham Dobson, resulted in the recovery of a substantial number of artifacts which are undergoing conservation and study by Odyssey's research department to aid in identification of the sites.

"We've already achieved impressive results with our new sonar equipment for our 2005 'Atlas' program. Our new technologies have lived up to their billing and have significantly improved our search capabilities. Because of this, we decided to send the Odyssey Explorer to the search area so we could immediately begin visually inspecting the many side-scan targets we've located. There's no question we'll return to the Sussex excavation in the western Mediterranean, but for now, considering the opportunities currently available to us, and the small weather window in which we have to work, we're focused on locating and identifying objects in the 'Atlas' area," said Greg Stemm.

Odyssey Marine has posted 5 photomosaics from operations in the western Mediterranean on its web site: http://www.shipwreck.net. These photomosaics, which visually capture Company discoveries on the ocean floor, demonstrate the enhanced technological effectiveness of Odyssey's new search and recovery capabilities.

Odyssey Marine Exploration has several shipwreck projects in various stages of development throughout the world. Odyssey has an exclusive partnering agreement with the Government of the United Kingdom for the archaeological excavation of the shipwreck believed to be HMS Sussex. Additional information about Odyssey, its projects and equipment, is available at: http://www.shipwreck.net.

Source: www.divenews.com


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