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Odyssey Awarded Title to Shipwreck

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 26, 2004 - Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (Amex: OMR) a leader in the field of deep ocean shipwreck exploration, received a default judgment granting the company title and ownership to the SS Republic shipwreck and cargo, including the hull, all artifacts and the specie that was on board when the ship sank. The judgment was awarded by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division.

Odyssey filed an Admiralty "arrest" or claim on the shipwreck site in August of 2003 and reached a settlement in January 2004 with the insurance company that paid a claim on the cargo, hull and some of the specie. As no other claims were received by the court, Odyssey requested a default judgment for complete ownership of the shipwreck and cargo, rather than requesting a salvage award for a percentage of the recovered value.

"We are pleased that our planning and early negotiation with the insurance company allowed us to finalize ownership issues on the SS Republic in a matter of months," stated John Morris, co-founder and CEO of Odyssey Marine Exploration. "This ruling allows us to continue implementing our business plan and to move ahead with SS Republic marketing plans, including exhibits and attractions."

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. Odyssey discovered the shipwreck 1,700 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean approximately 100 miles off the Georgia coast.

The archaeological excavation of the SS Republic shipwreck site and the recovery of coins are continuing. Nearly 51,000 gold and silver coins have been recovered to date. The face value of recovered coins represents approximately 22 % of the "$400,000 in specie" (face value in 1865) historical research indicates was on board the Republic when she sank. The total number of coins will depend on how many coins of each denomination are recovered.

Among the coins already retrieved are numerous gold eagles, gold double eagles, silver half dollars and even a few quarters, nearly all dating between the 1840's and 1865. Unlike other recently salvaged shipwrecks, a wide variety of dates and mints have been noted in this find. Based on the pieces recovered thus far that have been professionally conserved by Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS) and graded and encapsulated by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), this collection already includes several finest-known examples of United States gold and silver coins from the period. While excavation has already uncovered thousands of coins, there is insufficient information at this point to predict the total value of the shipwreck and its cargo.

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. 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" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. 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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