News & Media
 
Press Release Archive
Media Room

HMS Sussex Project Update

TAMPA, FL - April 20, 2005 - Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (AMEX: OMR), a leader in the field of deep ocean shipwreck exploration, today announced that it has received preliminary comments from the Kingdom of Spain relating to the shipwreck site believed to be HMS Sussex.

Odyssey's Spanish counsel received a report that indicated that after high-level intergovernmental meetings planned for later this month, the Company should be able to resume work on the Sussex with the cooperation of the appropriate authorities. In the spirit of cooperation, Odyssey is going to continue suspension of operations on the Sussex to provide time for these meetings and to continue discussions with the Spanish, UK and US governments relative to sovereign warship issues.

Odyssey's 251' deep-ocean archaeological platform has continued to work in the western Mediterranean, inspecting and conducting preliminary excavations on several shipwreck sites located recently by the Research Vessel RV Odyssey.

By the end of April, it is anticipated that sufficient preliminary survey work will have been accomplished on at least three of the shipwrecks located in the western Mediterranean to provide Odyssey's research department sufficient artifacts and information to determine whether to continue excavations.

After finishing preliminary excavations on these shipwrecks, the Odyssey Explorer will either continue the Sussex operations, or begin work on sites discovered in our 2005 search program, code-named the "Atlas" project.

"We can work on the Sussex any time of year and it's presently protected from anyone else by our exclusive agreement with the UK. Most targets in our "Atlas" search area typically only afford a weather window through the fall, so it makes sense to move there while we continue to cooperate with the UK and Spanish governments in planning the Sussex operation and other cooperative efforts", commented Greg Stemm, Odyssey's co-founder. "We'd all like to see the Sussex moving ahead as scheduled, but we have other projects that could prove as valuable to Odyssey as the potential of the Sussex, and we do not believe they are subject to sovereign immunity, which moves them to the top of our list."

"Our goal over the long run is to become the world's leading shipwreck exploration firm, in part by providing deep-ocean cultural heritage management services to governments of the world, in addition to our own private projects," added John Morris, Odyssey's co-founder and CEO. "While we believe operations could legally resume on the Sussex at this time, the long-term growth of the Company is best served by cooperating with the UK and Spain to show our good faith and ability to allow for cooperation on sovereign immune shipwrecks. The Sussex is a UK Government partnering project and it's up to us to prove we are willing to be sufficiently diplomatic to allow for complex political issues to be dealt with on a reasonable basis. We've got enough projects on our plate right now to allow us to be flexible."

Odyssey's "Atlas" Project includes five high-value shipwreck targets which are beyond any countries' territorial waters and are not believed to be subject to sovereign immunity, so they can be archaeologically excavated immediately upon their discovery. At least two may have potential value on par with the estimated value of the Sussex. The search will be undertaken from a 230-foot survey ship, which Odyssey has leased with an option to purchase, specially outfitted with a newly designed search system that allows Odyssey to search twice the area at double the resolution of all previously employed search technologies.

Until the Sussex project is resumed, the Odyssey Explorer and Odyssey's new search ship will both work on the "Atlas" search program. One ship will concentrate on search efforts while the other ship investigates and excavates targets. With both ships working together, it is possible the primary search area believed to hold these five targets could be searched by late fall 2005.

For the time being, the 113-foot RV Odyssey will remain in Gibraltar to perform additional work in the Mediterranean, and may perform additional work on the Sussex site in the absence of the Odyssey Explorer.

Odyssey Marine Exploration is an American Stock Exchange Company (Ticker symbol: OMR) with several shipwreck projects in various stages of development throughout the world. Odyssey has an exclusive partnering agreement with the Government of the United Kingdom for the archaeological excavation of the shipwreck believed to be HMS Sussex. Additional information about Odyssey, its projects and equipment is available at www.shipwreck.net.

# # #

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 December 31, 2004, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Home | Contact Us | Sitemap | Privacy Policy | Careers