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U.S. Firm Finds Shipwreck With Possible $210 Million Silver Haul

A U.S. company says it has found the wreckage of a British cargo ship that was sunk during World War II that could contain as much as 7 million ounces of silver.

Based on today's prices for silver, the haul -- if confirmed -- could be worth some $210 million.

The Florida-based salvage firm Odyssey Marine Exploration said it had confirmed the identity and location of the "SS Gairsoppa," a British ship that was torpedoed by a German U-boat in February 1941.

The company said the wreck is resting nearly 4,700 meters below the surface of the North Atlantic, about 500 kilometers off Ireland's coast.

Official documents say the ship was carrying some 7 million ounces of silver when it went down.

If recovered, the haul would make it the largest known cargo of precious metals ever recovered from the sea.

Under a contract with the British government, the U.S. salvage company could keep 80 percent of the net value of any silver recovered.

Only one of 85 people who were on board survived after the ship was hit by the German boat.

compiled from agency reports