WWI Soldiers May Have Been Found in North Sea

Cheryl Sanders
September 20, 2017

A WWI U-boat similar to the one found in the North Sea.

The wreck of a First World War German UB-II submarine, possibly still containing the bodies of 23 crew members, found off the Belgian coast.

"It's quite unbelievable that we found something like this", Western Flanders Governor Carl Decaluwe told the Associated Press, calling the find "very unique".

Belgium's North Sea minister said he would investigate whether the wreck could be recognised as a heritage site.

UB-II submarines were built in 1915 and 1916 and were able to dive to a depth of around 50m. Dating back to World War One, the submarine was found to be in a remarkably well-preserved condition, and the remains of all 23 crew members are likely still inside. It was found resting at a 45 degree angle, 82-98 feet below the water's surface. Other than that the submarine, commonly known as a U-Boat, was nearly completely intact and all its hatches were tightly closed, with most likely all the original crew members still inside.

"The submarine is very intact, everything is still closed - that's what he (Termote) saw during his first visit this summer", Jan Mees, head of the Flanders Marine Institute told AFP.

Historic England had made a decision to mark the 100-year anniversary of Germany's declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare by showing off the newly-acquired images.

Fishing gear, including nets, also appears to be attached to the vessel. Governor Decaluwe said he had contacted the German ambassador to Belgium about proper disposal of the sailors' remains.

"We thought that all the big wrecks had already been discovered so this was a total surprise", Termote told AFP.

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