Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. has filed its objections to the June 3, 2009 Report and Recommendation in the "Black Swan" Admiralty case (case number 08:07-cv-614).
Odyssey's Objections include arguments that:
|•||The applied legal standard of review is incorrect.|
|•||There is no coherent vessel located at the "Black Swan" site.|
|•||There is clear and convincing evidence of the commercial nature of the Mercedes' mission at the time of her demise which Odyssey believes legally nullifies the claim to sovereign immunity of that vessel.|
|•||A distinction between cargo and vessel is allowed and even required by settled admiralty law.|
|•||The majority of the coins aboard the Mercedes were merchant-owned, commercial cargo being shipped as freight for a fee and were never owned by Spain.|
"We know that admiralty law is complex, and the facts of this case are unique. I believe that the recommendation missed some key issues, and we have underscored those in our objection. We are confident that the facts and applicable law are in our favor," said Melinda MacConnel, Vice President and General Counsel for Odyssey Marine Exploration.
Odyssey's complete "Objections to the June 3, 2009 Report and Recommendation" is available at www.shipwreck.net/blackswanlegal.php. Objections have also been separately filed by many descendants of the merchants who owned the private cargo on the Mercedes, arguing that the cargo never belonged to Spain, and that Odyssey was within its rights to recover coins on behalf of the true owners.
About the "Black Swan"
In May 2007, Odyssey announced the discovery of the "Black Swan", a Colonial-period site located in the Atlantic Ocean which yielded over 500,000 silver coins weighing more than 17 tons, hundreds of gold coins, worked gold, and other artifacts. Odyssey completed an extensive pre-disturbance survey of the "Black Swan" site, which included recording over 14,000 digital still images which were used to create a photomosaic of the site.
The coins and artifacts were brought into the United States with a valid export license, and imported legally pursuant to US Law. Odyssey brought the artifacts under the jurisdiction of the US Federal Court by filing an Admiralty arrest action. This procedure allows any legitimate claimants with an interest in the property to make a claim. For more information on the "Black Swan", visit www.shipwreck.net/blackswan.php.