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TAMPA, Fla. (Dec 1, 2003) --Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (Amex: OMR) a leader in the field of deep ocean shipwreck exploration, has commenced archaeological excavation and recovery of specie from the shipwreck of the SS Republic. National Geographic Television and Film (NGT&F) is documenting the entire expedition for broadcast on Dateline NBC and "National Geographic Ultimate Explorer" on MSNBC in January 2004 and for a National Geographic Special on PBS later in 2004.

"We have finished an extensive archaeological pre-disturbance survey and photomosaic of the site. Archaeologist Neil Cunningham Dobson is overseeing a precision archaeological excavation, carefully retrieving and recording the location of thousands of artifacts, including the ship's bell, bottles and specie. The beautifully preserved artifacts are providing an amazing glimpse of the historical time capsule represented by this site," said Greg Stemm, Odyssey co-founder and director of operations. "The condition and diversity of the coins we have recovered so far have significantly exceeded our expectations. We are literally picking up one coin at a time with a specially designed soft silicone limpet so that we do not mar the surface of these beautiful pieces. Initial tests have shown that we can recover as many as 750 coins per day using this method. We cannot predict how many coins will be found, but we have only recovered a small fraction of the specie that is visible on the site."

There are four separate concentrations of coins visible on the site. To date, more than 750 gold coins have been recovered from one of these areas. Approximately 60% are Coronet Head 20 Dollar Double Eagles, and the rest are Coronet Head 10 Dollar Eagles. In a different area from the gold specie, more than 900 silver Seated Liberty Half Dollars have been recovered. Both gold and silver coins were minted in a wide variety of cities and years.

"While the majority of the coins visible on the site are gold, finding the silver pieces was a pleasant surprise. We were amazed to find silver coins in such fine condition that you can actually still see the mint luster," stated Stemm. "Many of the gold coins have a slight dark film that rinses away easily, revealing uncirculated surfaces beneath."

The SS Republic was a side wheel steamer that sank in 1865 while en route from New York to New Orleans after battling a hurricane for two days. All the crew and passengers made it safely off the vessel, although a number of people died on one of the rafts before they could be rescued. Historical records indicate the ship was carrying "$400,000 in specie" when she sank. Odyssey discovered the shipwreck 1,700 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean approximately 100 miles off the Georgia coast. More information on the discovery of the SS Republic and pictures of the site can be found at .

While excavation has already uncovered what appear to be thousands of coins, there is insufficient information at this point to predict the total value of the shipwreck and its cargo. The silver coins and smaller denomination gold coins may bring a higher return per face dollar value than 20 dollar gold pieces. Once all of the coins have been recovered and numismatic experts have had the opportunity to inspect the entire collection, the company will release a detailed report.

The expedition has been documented in great detail since September by National Geographic. The two films are being produced by NGT&F in association with JWM Productions, LLC.

"National Geographic has been here every step of the way covering the Odyssey Republic expedition," stated Stemm. "We're excited about sharing the amazing story of the Republic and the in-depth coverage of our expedition with the public."

"National Geographic has a long history covering this kind of expedition," stated David Royle, executive producer of National Geographic Ultimate Explorer and senior vice president for production at NGT&F. "We have covered some of the classic Geographic expeditions like Titanic and Bismarck and we're uniquely qualified to tell the remarkable story of the Republic."

Building on its global reputation for remarkable visuals and compelling stories, National Geographic Television & Film augments its award-winning documentary productions (122 Emmy Awards and more than 800 other industry awards) with feature films, large-format films and long-form television drama programming. Worldwide, National Geographic's television programming can be seen on the National Geographic Channel, MSNBC and PBS, home video and DVD, and through international broadcast syndication. The National Geographic Channel is received by more than 200 million households in 26 languages in 146 countries, including the United States. For more information about National Geographic Television & Film, log on to, AOL Keyword: NatGeo.

Odyssey Marine Exploration is an American Stock Exchange Company (Stock symbol: OMR) with several shipwreck projects in various stages of development throughout the world, including the SS Republic and HMS Sussex projects. Additional information about Odyssey, its projects and equipment is available at

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The Company believes the information set forth in this Press Release may include "forward-looking statements." 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 28, 2003, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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