First World War submarine found in North Sea

A sunken German U-boat has been found, and it appears to be very well preserved

Divers off Ostend in Belgium have located the wreck of a WWI German U-Boat in the North Sea.

The wreck is around 30 metres down and seems to be extremely well preserved, DR Nyheder reports.

Marine archaeologist Thomas Termote, who found the wreck with the help of sonar, said that it is quite likely that the bodies of the crew are still aboard.

Crew still aboard
“All the hatches are still closed, and that indicates that the wreck has not been discovered before and that the crew are still in there,” he said.

The submarine, a UB-II class vessel, is 27 metres long and had a 23-man crew. It was capable of diving to 50 metres and would have carried up to 50 torpedoes.

During the First World War, the Belgian port of Zeebrugge was used as a German naval base from which to attack shipping in the North Sea. This is the eleventh U-boat wreck from the First World War found in Belgian waters.

Left as a war grave
Despite its excellent state of preservation, Termote says that it would be “almost impossible” to raise the sub.

Divers are expected to return to the wreck shortly to clean the exterior and try to find its identification number. After that, the German authorities will be able to check their archives and notify the crew’s next-of-kin. The sub will then be left as a war grave.

The exact location of the sub is being kept secret to prevent the grave-site being plundered.





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