Mark Hargitt’s Marine Services Before Shark Tank
Entering into the Shark Tank is a grizzled sailor, representing Hargitt Marine Services. Using terms like “ahoy” and “scuttlebutt,” this sailor says he’s a treasure hunter. And so far, this grizzled treasure hunter has found 1200 tons of copper, silver, and gold ore in the belly of the Mariposa, which is a ship that sank almost 100 years ago just off the coast of Alaska. He then pulls up a video of himself diving down into the Alaskan depths.
The video shows a lot of kelp and strong currents, and he narrates the experience as he goes; he has to actually climb down the anchor chain because the current of the water is so strong that it will actually drag him away. He finds the steam valve, and continues to find more and more artifacts, such as a fire brick. Robert finds the video cool, while Daymond seems less thrilled with the video.
Mark Hargitt’s Marine Services on Shark Tank
Mark Hargitt, of Hargitt Marine Services, is seeking $250,000 in exchange for 25% of his business. Mark Hargitt is unlike any entrant that has ever stepped into the Shark Tank before. Barb asks what they would receive for their investment, and Mark says they will receive 25% of “the booty,” which is a variety of artifacts and ore. Mark says he estimates the wholesale value of the ore to come out to $2.5 million, assuming he can gather it all, there is no waste, and if he has the proper equipment.
Robert asks how Mark came to this evaluation, which Mark says he came to with some research. He is an “amateur nautical historian, having grown up in the marine industry in his entire life. Mark jokes he is the “seventh son of the seventh son of a son of a son of a sailor.” Kevin asks if Mark is the only one to know the coordinates of the shipwreck, which Mark denies and says that the Mariposa shipwreck is actually quite a well-known area. Mark Cuban asks why the ship hasn’t been salvaged before, but Grizzled Mark says that the ship actually has been salvaged some. Daymond asks what gives the rights to Mark, and Mark says that he has filed the rights with the State of Alaska as mineral rights, as the minerals contained within the ship have returned to the Earth.
Kevin asks how Mark knows with certainty the ore is there, and Mark opens up a cooler that he had brought with him. Inside are a variety of rocks which contain the minerals Mark had boasted that were contained within the shipwreck of the Mariposa. All of the rocks contained within, Mark says, are all copper. All of the Sharks ask why the ore smells so bad, which Mark says is due to the fact that the ore has been sitting in the salty seawater for years and was only removed a few days ago. Some of the ore has already been smelted, Mark says, which means that it has become more dense and workable.
Robert clarifies; Mark is assuming there is X amount of minerals, and he has no way to confirm that other people haven’t, in fact, salvaged from the same ship. However, Mark points out that they have only “picked the cherries off,” grabbing artifacts like the propeller, the Mariposa’s steering wheel, and the whistle on the boat. Robert asks if Mark believes the full 1200 tons is still down there, and Mark says he cannot see any reason why not – the ore hasn’t moved elsewhere. Mark Cuban asks how much ore Grizzled Mark has salvaged so far, which he replies that a few hundred pounds have been salvaged so far. So far, they are salvaging by hand.
Mark says if he were to salvage three-quarters of the entire thing, the number estimate he came up with is around $2.4 million for wholesale. Robert asks how the entire motherload would take to salvage, and Mark says he has plans for an “Abductor,” which is simply like an underwater vacuum cleaner – the abductor will suck up any minerals or materials thanks to a high-powered motor, making hauling trips redundant. The entire motherload, Mark estimates, would take a little over a week to salvage.
With the money from the Sharks, Mark will find equipment, crew, the abductor system, rent a barge, and shark repellant. All of the Sharks seem amused by the reality that Mark has indeed gone up against real, live sharks and not venture capitalists. Kevin points out that if he were to invest in treasure hunting, there are probably many other competitors he can go to if he were to do his due-diligence.
Kevin wants to know what makes Mark different from any other competitors. Grizzled Mark says that he is the captain, owner and first diver of Hargitt Marine Services, and he has 21 years of experience in the marines. Mark has saved countless lives and ships, and he believes that he is “the guy” that can go down with some help from the Sharks. However, Barb asks if there isn’t an actual authority that treasure hunters like Mark can go to. Mark admits that this is indeed true, and Shark Tank is actually “plan C.”
Mark admit that plan A is to do it by hand, and plan B is to take out the money from his early retirement fund. He has a half million dollars saved up that he could invest into the equipment. Robert clarifies that Mark has the rights for the minerals for the ship, which Mark confirms he does. He was granted exclusive rights by the State of Alaska, so he is the only person who can go salvage the minerals and do with them as he please. Robert proposes that Mark could take his rights, go to a bigger salvage company, and sell the rights to the bigger company. Mark ponders it for a moment and admits he could easily do that.
Mark Cuban points out that he is pitched to by treasure hunters all the time, and everyone talks their grand plan. None of the plans turn out the way they project, but ultimately, Mark Cuban is grounded in reality and exits the deal first.
Daymond says he is falling in love with the idea, finding the notion of diving down to retrieve treasure of very romantic. Daymond finds the idea humorous that he can get an eyepatch and dive down and begin to talk like a pirate, and Mark even invites any of the potential investors to come down with him should they choose to accept. However, Daymond could not advise or be of any help, so he is out of the deal. Mark then invites the Sharks to sign on as crew.
Robert says he loves boats the most out of cars, motorcycles and planes, and he has actually been a diver since he was 16 years old. Robert is even a certified diver, and ran away from home when he was 17 to join the Navy. However, the offer really isn’t an investment, Robert says, where he can find a safe return on his investment. Robert is out.
Barb points out that the deal lacks knowledge for her, saying that she would be of little to no help on the diving venture. She would have to totally trust Mark, but the deal also lacks sex appeal – when Mark opened the cooler, she expected to see crown jewels, but only saw some lumpy rocks with odd colors. Seeing the rocks didn’t excite Barb, and she exits the deal.
Kevin is the sole remaining Shark. Kevin starts by saying that they have never had anybody like Mark in the Shark Tank, but he ultimately does not find the attractive. Kevin says that the deal would be very expensive to force into fruition, and he doesn’t know if he will need to invest money past the initial asking $250,000. Mark brings up his abductor system, and Kevin says he has actually seen a system very much like Mark’s.
Kevin was involved in a similar process with a Roman ship off the coast of Cyprus, and long-story short, the ship is now sitting in a castle. Kevin points out the process is expensive takes forever, and this process was even in warm water. Once Mark starts diving down, Kevin says he cannot stop – you must continue on until all the minerals have been retrieved.
In the end, Kevin folds out of the deal as the last Shark, leaving Mark Hargitt without an investment in his treasure hunting expedition.
Hargitt Marine Services Now in 2018- The After Shark Tank Update
Little information can be found about Mark Hargitt’s expedition into the Mariposa shipwreck, which is most likely a good thing – if we knew a lot of information about how the expedition went and how much Mark had made from his salvage diving, he could very easily become a target despite living in the isolated state of Alaska. This was one of the more interesting pitches on Shark Tank, and truly memorable, but it is a shame that the Sharks chose not to collaborate and invest in such an interesting experience. He even offered them the opportunity to dive down with them.