Submerged vessel 'may be war grave'

 

A suspected submerged submarine has been discovered in Northern Ireland, the Government has said.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood has viewed sonar images of the vessel in Lough Foyle, near Londonderry, and warned it may be a war grave.

Londonderry was one of the most important naval bases during the Second World War and was crucial to ensuring Allied success in the Battle of the Atlantic. The city was selected for the symbolic German fleet surrender to recognise the vital role it played in the conflict.

Mr Attwood said: "I have asked that urgent work is undertaken to determine how and when the submarine or boat came to rest in this part of the lough.

"It is unusual that there appears to be no record of the circumstances behind this situation.

"I have also asked that all agencies continue to work with DoE and the harbour commissioner to create certainty about the identity of and the reason why the submarine/boat is in the current location."

He said it was crucial that no diving should occur in the vicinity of the vessel.

"There may be unexploded ordnance which means there are potential risks. This may also be a war grave," he said.

PA

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