Wreck found off Norfolk coast identified as first world war U-boat
A wreck found at the bottom of the North Sea has been identified as a German U-boat from the first world war, an energy company has announced.
ScottishPower Renewables workers detected the submarine lying 56 miles off the Norfolk coast at a depth of 30 metres, while researching for a windfarm development in 2012.
A team of Dutch Navy divers, who thought the wreck might be the Netherlands’ final missing submarine from the second world war, investigated the wreck and filmed it where it lay preserved on the sea bed.
Studies identified the submarine as a Type U-31, which left for a patrol on 13 January 1915 and never returned.
“Unravelling the whole story behind the submarine has been fascinating,” said Charlie Jordan, project director with ScottishPower Renewables.
“It’s heartening to know that the discovery will provide closure to relatives and descendants of the submariners lost who may have always wondered what had happened to their loved ones.”
It is thought that the submarine hit a mine and sank, killing all 35 men on board.
Mark Dunkley, a marine archaeologist at preservation organisation Historic England, said that the submarine was in a “remarkable condition”.
“The discovery serves as a poignant reminder of all those lost at sea, on land and in the air during the first world war,” Dunkley said.