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Odyssey Board Chairman and Maritime Legal Expert Dr. David J. Bederman Passes

TAMPA, Fla., Dec. 7, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMEX) today announced with great sadness the loss of Chairman of the Board David J. Bederman on December 4, 2011. Dr. Bederman had been a member of Odyssey's Board of Directors since 2006 and served the Chairman since 2010.

"David was a personal friend, mentor and a highly respected member of our Board of Directors who, along with his wife Lorre and daughter Annelise, have been much-loved members of the Odyssey family for many years," said Greg Stemm, Odyssey Chief Executive Officer. "His passion for our mission and his unparalleled sense of fairness and understanding of international law has guided us through many situations that really had no legal precedent. David's wisdom, strength, courage and brilliant mind will be missed so much by all of us."

"It was an honor to have had the opportunity to learn from David as he was one of the best legal minds in the country, and his contributions to the field of admiralty law were monumental. Not only was he an incredible mentor and colleague, he was a true and kind friend who always made himself available to the Odyssey team. His guidance and friendship will be sorely missed," said Melinda MacConnel, Odyssey Vice President and General Counsel.

Odyssey's Governance Committee will meet in due course, and in accordance with its charter, to nominate a successor to act as Chairman.

About Dr. David J. Bederman

In 1991, Dr. Bederman joined the faculty at the Emory University School of Law, becoming the K.H. Gyr Professor in Private International Law in 2008. Over the years, he shared his knowledge of international law, admiralty, international institutions, law of international common spaces, legal methods, customary law, international environmental law and foreign relations power with thousands of students. Dr. Bederman published extensively, writing 12 books and 125 articles on diverse legal topics, including legal history, constitutional law, and international legal theory and practice. He lectured widely and was a visiting professor at New York University and the University of Virginia, and was a Fulbright Distinguished Chair at Osgoode Hall in Toronto.

Dr. Bederman also led a private practice and played a significant legal role in many cases involving the law of the sea, maritime law and shipwreck disputes, representing clients in 52 federal court cases as counsel of record, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Prior to joining Emory, Dr. Bederman practiced law at Covington & Burling in Washington, DC and acted as a legal advisor at the Iran/United States Claims Tribunal at The Hague. Dr. Bederman held degrees from Princeton University (A.B.), London School of Economics (MSc.), University of Virginia (J.D.), and the University of London (Ph.D.), as well as the Diploma of The Hague Academy of International Law.

To honor Dr. David J. Bederman, the faculty of Emory School of Law is building an endowment for a lecture series, student fellowship program, and professorship.

About Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.

Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMEX) is engaged in deep-ocean exploration using innovative methods and state-of-the-art technology. The Company is a world leader in shipwreck exploration, conducting extensive search and archaeological recovery operations on deep-ocean shipwrecks around the world. Odyssey also has a minority ownership stake in Neptune Minerals, a company focused on discovering and commercializing high-value mineral deposits from the ocean floor. Odyssey also provides contracting services, including proprietary deep-ocean expertise and equipment, to governments and companies around the world.

Odyssey Marine Exploration believes the information set forth in this Press Release may include "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934. Certain factors that could cause results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements are set forth in "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CONTACT: Liz Shows
         Odyssey Marine Exploration
         (813) 876-1776 ext 2335
         lshows@shipwreck.net
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