Silver bullion weighing 17,000 ounces, along with other artefacts removed from the sunken steamship Gairsoppa has been landed at the docks from the salvage vessel Seabed Worker.

Torpedoed in 1941, Gairsoppa lies three miles down on the seabed of the Atlantic some 300 miles south west of Ireland.

The artefacts will be handed over to the UK Receiver of Wrecks.

Odyssey Marine Exploration, the American company conducting the multi-million dollar recovery of the silver bullion, started work on the project in June this year. A spokesperson for Odyssey said: “During the 83 operational days (days not affected by weather delays, transit or time in port) of this period, the Odyssey team surgically opened and cleared approximately 70 per cent of the holds and compartments of the SS Gairsoppa which were suitable for transporting silver cargo.”

Using a high-tec, remotely operated vehicle (ROV), hydraulic shears and deck removal tools, areas of the Gairsoppa were opened up and inspected. During these operations, a total of 1,218 silver ingots, which are expected to yield approximately $44 million at current silver prices, as well as several hundred artefacts were recovered from the SS Gairsoppa .

The salvage operation has now been halted until next year due to weather conditions. Odyssey expect the remaining bullion to be recovered in 30 to 45 days.

Odyssey president Mark Gordon said: “We recovered about $44 million in silver bullion in a record-breaking operation. Our team has proven their ability to efficiently execute complex operations at a depth of 4,700 meters (15,600 feet) to complete both the deepest cargo salvage and largest recovery of precious metals ever accomplished.

“We’ve proven that we can make precise cuts, gain access to interior areas of a steel shipwreck and recover cargo from a shipwreck deeper than the Titanic.”