Wednesday, February 28, 2007

U-boat off Malin Head Salvage Plan

February 2007

Geoff Millar, Derry diver, announced that a plan was launched to salvage a German WWII U-boat from the seabed off Malin Head last week. Geoff said "There's a type 1 U-boat U778 that is in pristine condition in 70 metres deep water 16 miles northwest of Malin Head that should be raised. He went on to say "I've spoken to Derry city councillor Sean Gallagher and he is trying to get a motion passed at council promising support. I sought funding from the Inishowen Rural Development scheme some time ago, but they didn't have the resources to help."

Mr. Millar said there is huge potential for tourism. "Divers from all over the world come to Inishowen. "There are more sunken oceangoing liners off the coast of Inishowen than anywhere else in the world. Lots of B & B's near Malin are filled with foreign divers in the summer." he said.

116 U-boats were sunk in deep waters off Malin, after the German U-boat fleet surrendered to British Admiral Sir Max Horton at Lisahally on the Foyle on May 14th 1945. The closest U-boat to the coast is U861, three miles northwest of Malin Head and in water 43 metres deep. Unfortunately it has broken into three pieces and can't be raised. Another vessel favoured by divers is U1271, eight miles off shore in 56 metres deep. It is hoped the raised vessel will be housed in a museum as an educational aid. The German authorities may all be asked to assist the project. So far only two U-boats have been brought up from the seabed and preserved for public display in Europe - one in Birkenhead in England and another in Germany.
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