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Odyssey Reaches Agreement with UK Government on Dismissal of Admiralty Arrest and Salvage Award for Cannon from HMS Victory

Tampa, FL – September 18, 2009 - Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (NasdaqCM: OMEX), pursuant to an agreement reached with the UK Government, has filed a motion to dismiss and vacate the warrant for the arrest which was filed in the U.S. District Court on Admiral Balchin’s HMS Victory, a 100 gun ship of the line lost in 1744 in the English Channel (case number 8:08-cv-1045).

The UK Government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award of 80% as compensation for the artifacts which have been recovered from the site and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. A valuation of approximately $200,000 has been agreed for the two cannon recovered from the site, providing for a salvage award of approximately $160,000. The company will also be participating in the ongoing process of consultation to determine the approaches that should be adopted towards the wreck.

In 2008, in cooperation with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD), Odyssey conducted an extensive archaeological pre-disturbance survey and recovered a 42 pdr and 12 pdr bronze cannon from the site. At the direction of the MOD, Odyssey presented the cannon to the UK Receiver of Wreck, and has been actively involved in their conservation and study.

“We look forward to cooperating with the MOD and other stakeholders in the archaeological management and preservation of Admiral Balchin’s HMS Victory,” commented Odyssey CEO, Greg Stemm from London, where he has spent the week meeting with UK officials. “I am pleased to announce that we have offered to forego part of our salvage award as a contribution of $75,000 to provide support to the National Museum of the Royal Navy to assist in realizing the historical, educational and cultural opportunities that the discovery of this important shipwreck offers to the public.”

“We’re thrilled that we’ve been able to return two cannon from Balchin’s Victory to the citizens of the United Kingdom, but these are just a small portion of the irreplaceable cultural artifacts that remain at the site,” Stemm continued. “We look forward to working with the UK Government and the archaeological community to help develop a strategy to protect this very significant cultural and naval heritage asset.”

“As the shipwreck has been positively identified as HMS Victory, a UK Royal Naval Vessel, we recognize the UK Government’s position is that the vessel has not been abandoned and therefore the shipwrecked vessel, its appurtenances and necessaries, and the personal effects of the officers and crew, are the property of Her Majesty’s Government,” commented Melinda MacConnel, Odyssey Vice President and General Counsel. “As such, in good faith, we have agreed to conduct any further activities relating to the shipwreck under the jurisdiction of applicable UK laws.”

About HMS Victory

HMS Victory was lost in 1744 under the command of Admiral Sir John Balchin. The direct predecessor and inspiration behind Nelson's flagship, Balchin's Victory was the mightiest and most technically advanced vessel of her age. She was lost during a storm with all hands and was the last Royal Navy warship to be lost at sea with a complete complement of bronze cannon. Two of the greatest admirals in English history, Sir John Norris and Sir John Balchin called her their flagship.

About Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.

Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (NasdaqCM: OMEX) is engaged in the exploration of deep-ocean 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 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." In February 2009, Odyssey announced the discovery of Balchin's HMS Victory. The Company also has other 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, television, merchandise, and educational programs.

Odyssey's operations are the subject of a Discovery Channel television series titled "Treasure Quest," which is produced by JWM Productions. The 12-episode first season aired in the US and the UK in early 2009 and is scheduled to air worldwide throughout 2009. Production on a second season is underway.

Following previous successful engagements in New Orleans, Tampa, Detroit, and Oklahoma City, Odyssey's SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure is currently on exhibit at Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC. Additional information is available at

For details on the Company's activities and its commitment to the preservation of maritime heritage please visit


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 Part I, Item 1A of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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