German World War I submarine discovered intact with 23 bodies inside
Authorities said the UB II-type diver was found on the floor of the North Sea at about a 45 degree angle, between 82 to 98 feet below the surface. The boat is 88 feet long and nearly 20 feet wide.
“It’s quite amazing that we found something like this,” Western Flanders Gov. Carl Decaluew said. “The impact damage was at the front, but the submarine remains closed and there are 23 people still onboard.”
He said the U-boat was found by researchers but declined to provide information on the wreck’s location to prevent people from going near. He said the German ambassador was also contacted because “we need to see what [we] can do” with the remains.
While mostly intact, the vessel did sustain some damage at the front. It appears that the sub may have struck a mine with its upper deck while two torpedo tubes have been destroyed. A lower tube is intact and closed.
Around 18 German U-boats were stationed with the Flanders Flotilla in Bruges between 1915 and 1918. Thirteen of them were destroyed.
This wreck is the 11th found in Belgian waters. At least one more dive is required to determine which U-boat it is and it is believed to be one of three.
UB-II submarines were built in 1915 and 1916 and were able to dive to a depth of nearly 150 feet.
Allied warships and cargo ships were easy pickings for the German subs that were launched from Bruges, just across the English Channel.