WATCH: Divers uncover First World War submarine after 106 years

A German U-boat sunk in the First World War has been discovered off the coast of Shetland.

The submarine UC-55 was sunk in 1917 by the Royal Navy around eight miles south-east of Lerwick, with 11 crew members dying and the survivors being taken as prisoners of war.

Now, 106 years later, divers aboard the Stromness boat Valhalla have found the submarine almost in the same condition as she was left.

Hazel Weaver, owner of the Valhalla, told The Shetland Times: “I can’t take credit for the discovery of it because it was actually pinned in a UK hydrographic office survey in around 1984-85, but we confirmed it was the UC-55.

“It’s a known wreck site that was never actually dived, so we dived in first.”

Ms Weaver felt it was important to confirm this very important part of history resides where it was once thought.

“The UC-55 has an amazing story behind it,” she said. [The year] 1917 in Lerwick was a very busy time for the port. There was actually more traffic in Lerwick than in London.

“The German U-boats knew that and were very active around Lerwick during that time. Mostly that activity was mine laying in the convoy routes, but they also did classic torpedo attacks on warships and freighters around Lerwick.

“It’s a piece of history that we were very interested in. These U-boats that sank mostly sunk in quite deep water beyond recreational diving depth, so to find one just within diving depth was very exciting.”

Read the full story in this week’s Shetland Times. 


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