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ISSREPORTERlHistoryGAIRSOPPAMANTOLADECEMBER201114www.iss-shipping.comBIwrecksrevealhiddentreasuresTHESTORYOFBIandourcloseassociationwithwhatwasoneofthebiggestshippinglinesintheworldiswelltoldontheCompanyx19swebsitehttpwww.iss-shipping.comaboutiss-history.aspxandheretoohttpwww.biship.comx1cforallthosewithaninterestinBritishIndiaSteamNavigation.x1dMessrsMackinnonMackenzieformedthelineinthe1850sandJamesLyleMackayfirstEarlofInchcapetookoverandmergedBIwithPOin1914assumingthechairmanshipofwhatwasthenmostcertainlytheworldx19slargestshipowner.TheBIfleetalonecomprised158vesselsin1922.ButwithtwoworldwarstocontendwithBIpaidahighpriceinmenshipsandtheircargoes.In1917theMantolawaslosttoaU-boatattackandin1941theGairsoppasufferedthesamefatejusttwoofmanyBItotallossesintheseyears.FastforwardtotodayandtheicywatersoftheNorthAtlantic.OdysseyMarineExplorationtakesupthestoryOdysseyistheworldleaderindeep-oceanshipwreckexplorationsearchingtheglobesvastoceansforsunkenshipswithintriguingstoriesextraordinarytreasureandpreciousartifactsspanningcenturiesofmaritimetravel.BeforebeginningtheoffshoresearchoperationsforGairsoppaOdysseyconductedextensiveresearchusingmultiplesourcestodeterminethehighestprobabilityareatosearch.Odysseyalsoacquireddatafromaprevioussearchfortheshipwreck.TheGairsoppawaslocatedoutsideoftheprevioussearchareanearthelocationthatOdysseyx19sresearchdepartmentbelievedthattheshipwouldbelocated.ThetargetshipwreckwaslocatedusingtheMAK-1Mdeep-towlowfrequencysonarsystemaboardthecharteredRussianresearchvesselRVYuzhmorgeologiya.VisualinspectionofthesitewasconductedwitharemotelyoperatedvehicleROVfromtheOdysseyExplorer.ThevideoandstillimagesacquiredduringtheexplorationoftheshipwreckwiththeROVwerereviewedandanalyzedatlengthtoconfirmtheidentityoftheshipwreckasthatoftheSSGairsoppa.TheexpeditionandresultingdatawasalsousedtoevaluatetheconditionoftheshipwreckandtoplanforrecoveryoperationsTheGairsoppawasdiscoveredapproximately4700metersbelowthesurfaceofthenorthAtlanticininternationalwatersapproximately300milesoffthecoastofIreland.Recoveryoperationsareexpectedtocommenceinthesecondquarterof2012.OdysseyhasalreadyidentifiedthetechnologyandequipmentnecessarytorecoverthesilvercargofromtheGairsoppaandmobilizationplansarebeingfinalized.Oneoftheworldstopdeep-oceansalvageexpertswasaboardduringtheverificationexpeditiontoconsultwithOdysseyoncustomizationofthesystemthatwillbeusedfortherecoveryoperations.WhileplanningsearchoperationsfortheSSGairsoppaOdysseycreatedcontingencyplansforseveralpotentialtargetsdependingonwhentheYuzhmorgeologiyacharterwascomplete.Odysseyx19sresearchteamusedOdysseyx19sproprietaryshipwreckdatabasetoidentifyotherpotentialtargetswithinrangeoftheGairsoppasearchareaanddevelopedasearchareafortheMantola.ThispreparationpaidoffwhenOdysseylocatedtheshipwreck.HistoricaloverviewTheSSGairsoppawasasteel-hulledBritishcargosteamshipthatbeganhercareerin1919undertheserviceoftheBritishIndiaSteamNavigationCompanyLtd.ofLondon.ShewasengagedincommercialshippingactivityinthewatersoftheFarEastAustraliaIndiaandEastAfrica.By1940theSSGairsoppawasenlistedintheserviceoftheUKMinistryofWarTransportandsubsequentlysunkinFebruary1941byaGermanU-boat.TheGairsoppawasbuiltatPalmerx19sCoNewcastlein1919andlaunchedonAugust12astheWarRoebuckbutwasrenamedinOctobertoGairsoppainhonourofthestunningwaterfallsinsouthwestIndiaofthesamename.Theshipwas412feetinlengthwithabeamof52.2feet28.5feetindepthandweighed5237tons.TheGairsoppajoinedtheBritishIndiaSteamNavigationCompanyfleettransportingvaluablecargothroughthewatersofthePacificandIndianOceans.In1931withwarloomingtheUKDirectorofSeaTransportoftheAdmiraltyapproachedtheBritishIndiaSteamNavigationCompanyandrequestedpassengervesselstojointheBritishnavalfleetintimesofnationalemergency.ByEaster1940theentirefleetof103BritishIndiaSteamNavigationCompanyshipswasundertheordersoftheUKAdmiraltyandtheMinistryofWartransport.Ofthese51shipswith1083liveswerelostbytheendofWWII.SSGairsoppaTheGairsoppax19semergencysternsteeringpedestal