Judge Grants Motion In North Carolina Shipwreck Case
Tampa, FL - February 25, 2008 - Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (NasdaqCM: OMEX) has been named the sole plaintiff in the in rem Admiralty case number 4:05-CV-122-D3 pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina after a U.S. District Judge granted the Joint Motion from Odyssey Marine Exploration and BDJ Discovery Group, LLC for "Substitution of Plaintiff."
Odyssey Marine Exploration Named Sole Custodian For Shipwreck Site
In 2005, BDJ Discovery Group filed the original arrest action against the Unidentified Shipwreck Vessel, its apparel, tackle, appurtenances and cargo located in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean approximately 12 miles off the coast of North Carolina.
BDJ Discovery Group, the company that originally discovered evidence of the site, brought the project to Odyssey in 2007 and an agreement was reached for Odyssey to take over all aspects of the project. BDJ has assigned all of its rights to the artifacts and any wreck from which they originate to Odyssey in return for up to 15% of any proceeds from artifact sales after archaeological excavation, conservation, marketing and certain other expenses.
"As other groups assess the real costs and challenges of shipwreck projects, including archaeological recovery, conservation, legal and marketing expenses, we're being called more often on projects like these," commented Greg Stemm, Odyssey CEO. "We have the experience, technical expertise and infrastructure required to effectively handle all aspects of virtually any shipwreck project that comes our way."
"We knew that we had something very interesting when we discovered the first artifacts in the area," observed James Greene of BDJ. "When faced with the challenge of bringing together the technology and expertise for a proper archaeological excavation, much less dealing with legal, political and marketing issues, we felt it made the most sense to turn the entire project over to Odyssey, a proven leader in the field of shipwreck exploration. The quality of the work that the Odyssey team has done on the site since last summer is amazing."
Odyssey has been conducting survey and inspection operations in the area and on the arrested site since August 2007 and is currently planning the next stages of survey and archaeological investigation of the site.
Among other objects, a small number of gold and silver artifacts have been recovered from the "Firefly" site, but the identity of the shipwreck from which the artifacts originated has not yet been confirmed. In order to protect the site, no additional information is being released at this time about the artifacts recovered or operations at the site to date.
About Odyssey Marine Exploration
Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (NasdaqCM: OMEX) is engaged in the exploration of shipwrecks and uses innovative methods and state-of-the-art technology to conduct extensive search and archaeological recovery operations around the world. Odyssey discovered the Civil War era shipwreck of the SS Republic in 2003 and recovered over 50,000 coins and 14,000 artifacts from the site nearly 1,700 feet deep. In May 2007, the Company announced the largest historic deep-ocean treasure recovery of over 500,000 silver and gold coins, weighing 17 tons, from a Colonial era site code-named "Black Swan." Odyssey has several shipwreck projects in various stages of development around the world.
Odyssey offers various ways to share in the excitement of deep-ocean exploration by making shipwreck treasures and artifacts available to collectors, the general public and students through its webstore, exhibits, books, videos, merchandise, and educational programs. Odyssey's "SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure" exhibit recently ended its successful seven month engagement at the Tampa Museum of Science and Industry and is scheduled to re-open at the Detroit Science Center on March 24, 2008. For details on the Company's activities and its commitment to the preservation of maritime heritage please visit www.shipwreck.net.
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Odyssey Marine Exploration 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" in the Part I, Item 1A of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.