Saturday, March 08, 2008

Judge: Shipwreck finder Odyssey Marine Exploration can't be only keepers of treasure ship's ID

TAMPA - Deep-sea explorers who found a shipwreck last year yielding about $500 million in treasure might be forced to provide Spain their "best available hypothesis" on the ship's identity, a judge said Thursday.

An attorney for the Spanish government has complained that Odyssey Marine Exploration of Tampa has not complied with a judge's order to hand over enough information to determine if Spain has a claim to the 17 tons of colonial era coins salvaged from the wreck last year.

U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday wrote in his ruling that if Odyssey doesn't fully satisfy the order to hand over details of the wreck, the company will be forced to tell Spain the name of the ship the company suspects it has found. . . .

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