US firm lays claim to English Channel wrecks

An American deep-sea exploration company says it has found two colonial-era shipwreck sites in the English Channel.

Odyssey Marine Exploration has asked a court in Tampa, Florida, to grant it exclusive salvage rights to the sites.

Odyssey said it did not know what ships it has found, but added that surveys showed cannon and other materials that may date back to colonial times. It said the wrecks lay outside the territorial waters of any nation.

The Tampa-based company made headlines last year when it announced it found 500,000 silver coins at a site in the Atlantic Ocean. Odyssey and the Spanish government have been fighting over that find ever since.

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