Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Council's plans to raise U-boat move forward

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Derry Journal
August 28, 2007


Ambitious plans to raise a U-boat from the sea bed in order to display it in the city may be coming closer to reality.

Derry City Council have announced that they are currently trying to secure funding for the project to raise the submarine.

Last year, the Council said that it was looking into plans to raise one of the infamous German U-boats from the sea bed off Donegal to display it in order to recognise the important role the city played in hunting the submarine which preyed on convoys in the North Atlantic.

During the Second World War, Derry’s port was an important command post for British naval patrols on convoy and anti-submarine duty. At the end of the war in 1945, the remains of the German submarine fleet were taken to Lisahally where they surrendered. The U-boats were then taken to various locations off the
Donegal coast and scuttled. Dozens of submarine now lie beneath the sea off the coast.

One particular submarine, U-778, has been singled out as the easiest to raise to the surface as it is not buried in mud. The wreck of U-778 lies 70 metres below the surface 16 miles north-west of Malin Head.

A spokesperson for Derry City Council said that the Museum and Heritage Service is currently working to take this project forward by consulting with the appropriate statutory agencies in relation to maritime and archaeological legislation that exists with regard to the removal of such craft. The Council is also working to seek to identify funding sources to assist with the project.

However, the project could run into problems as salvage experts believe that there must be a ‘tripartite agreement’ between Britain, the United States, and Russia before permission for any salvage work is granted.


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