It was a stormy Second World War night when, on February 17, 1941, three lifeboats abandoned the SS Gairsoppa, a 412 foot-long British cargo ship en route from India to Liverpool, England. In service of the Ministry of War Transport, the Gairsoppa was laden with tea, iron and tons of silver. Because of bad weather and insufficient coal, she was forced to break away from the military convoy off the coast of Ireland.
Now, 70 years after the dramatic sinking, treasure hunters have announced the discovery of the Gairsoppa's intact wreck about 300 miles off the coast of Ireland, at a depth of 4,700 meters.
According to U.S. underwater archaeology and salvage company Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc, up to 240 tons of silver, valued at more than $200 million, could be retrieved by next spring.