LONDON – A wreck found at the bottom of the sea off England has been identified as a long-lost German submarine from World War I, an energy company announced on Thursday.
ScottishPower Renewables workers detected the submarine lying 90 km (56 miles) off the coast of Norfolk in East England, 30 meters deep in the North Sea, while researching for a wind farm development in 2012.
A team of Dutch Navy divers, who hoped the wreck might be the Netherlands’ final missing submarine from World War II, investigated the wreck and filmed it where it lay preserved on the seabed.
Studies identified the submarine as Germany’s U-31, which left for a patrol on Jan. 13, 1915, and never returned.
“Unraveling 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 organization 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.