A Danish expedition team have turned history heads with their amazing find of the wreckage of a German submarine from WWI that vanished 99 years ago in the North Sea.
The wreckage, located about 8-10 km off the west-Jutland coast, contained 18 intact mines and six torpedoes, according to Gert Normann Andersen, the head of the diving expedition firm JD-Contractor, which found the sub.
“We are Jutlanders, so we are very restrained, but we believe that it’s a good find,” Andersen told Ekstra Bladet tabloid.
“It’s an exciting piece of history that we want to reveal and show at the museum. It’s fantastic to get out there and discover new bits of history.”
Andersen contends that the submarine – a mine-laying sub part of the German Imperial Navy named SM UC-30 – has remained quite a mystery.
It disappeared with its entire 23-man crew in 1917 with many historians believing it had sunk in a completely different area, which is why it was not found until now.
Andersen hopes to salvage and display the submarine in the Sea War Museum Jutland, but the explosives on board complicate matters. Over the next few days, the Danish authorities will evaluate whether the wreck should be destroyed or if the mines and torpedoes can safely be detonated.
Because of the danger, recreational divers have been told to stay away, and it is forbidden to fish and drop anchor in the area, or risk a fine and prison time.
The expedition has been part of a TV program in co-operation with DR’s history and science show ‘DR Historie and Videnskab’, which will be aired later this month on DR3.
Andersen, who made the news earlier this year by establishing a memorial park dedicated to ‘The Battle of Jutland’ in Thyborøn, has now located six u-boat wrecks in the North Sea.
“I have a feeling this will be the last one we find,” he said.