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Post-Civil War Treasure Ship Reveals Its Secrets In September National Geographic

WASHINGTON-Bound from New York to New Orleans in October 1865, the SS Republic, carrying 59 passengers, 500 barrels of freight and thousands of gold and silver coins, sank in a hurricane some 100 miles off the coast of Georgia. After a tenacious 12-year research effort, the wreck was located last year, 1,700 feet below the ocean surface, by Tampa, Fla.-based Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (AMEX: OMR).

National Geographic documents the Republic's final journey, the search for the wreck and the amazing treasure the ship is yielding in the magazine's September 2004 issue. "Treasure Ship Meets Perfect Storm," by Priit J. Vesilind with photographs by Jonathan Blair, tells of the harrowing experiences of the ship's passengers on that fateful last voyage, mostly through the letters of passenger William T. Nichols, and of the determination of shipwreck explorers, Odyssey co-founders Greg Stemm and John Morris, to find the Republic and recover the bounty of coins it contains.

Archaeological excavation of the Republic is continuing, and recovery operations have already netted more than 50,000 coins, including thousands of gold eagles, double gold eagles and silver half dollars, nearly all dating between 1838 and 1865. The collection contains some of the finest-known examples of U.S. gold coins from the period. The coins recovered to date should exceed $75 million in retail value. The face value of the coins recovered represents about 25 percent of the "$400,000 in specie" that research indicates was on board the Republic when it sank.

On National Geographic magazine's Web site at nationalgeographic.com/magazine, visitors can take a virtual cruise of the sunken steamship and zero in on artifacts on the seafloor. A National Geographic Special, covering the lives of the Republic's passengers and crew members, will air on PBS on Nov. 17, at 8 p.m. (check local listings).

National Geographic magazine is the official journal of the National Geographic Society. Published in 24 languages, the magazine has a circulation of around 9 million that spans every country around the globe. It is sent each month to National Geographic members and is also available on newsstands for $4.95 a copy. Single copies can be ordered by calling (800) NGS-LINE, also the number to call to apply for membership of the Society.

About the National Geographic Society

Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society is one of the largest nonprofit educational and scientific organizations in the world. It reaches more than 270 million people worldwide each month through its five magazines, the National Geographic Channel, television documentaries, films, books, videos and DVDs, maps and interactive media. National Geographic has funded more than 7,500 scientific research projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy. For more information, log on to nationalgeographic.com, AOL Keyword: NatGeo.

About Odyssey Marine Exploration

Odyssey Marine Exploration is an American Stock Exchange Company (Ticker symbol: OMR), with several shipwreck projects in various stages of development throughout the world, including the SS Republic and HMS Sussex projects. The company's vessel Odyssey Explorer is currently conducting the archaeological excavation of the SS Republic, and the company's second ship, RV Odyssey, is conducting search operations on a number of additional projects in the Atlantic Ocean. Additional information about Odyssey, its projects and equipment is available at www.shipwreck.net.

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The Company believes the information set forth in this Press Release may include "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934. Certain factors that could cause results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements are set forth in "Risk Factors," and "Business" in the Company's annual report on Form 10KSB for the year ended February 29, 2004, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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