WW2 Submarine found off Malta identified

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WW2 Submarine found off Malta identified

January 17, 2012 - 23:04

The wreckage of a British World War II submarine that sank 70 years ago in the Mediterranean Sea has been discovered seven miles away from Malta and in doing so a World War II British mystery has been solved, The Malta Independent Online reports.

The Key Largo-based Aurora Trust, a not-for-profit ocean exploration and education foundation, has solved a World War II British mystery.

HMS Olympus taking in supplies in Manoel Creek, Grand Harbour, Malta, December 1941

Although a team of divers from the United Kingdom and Malta had claimed discovery of the wreck in 2008, its identity was not confirmed until a team from the Aurora Trust was able to re-locate the wreck in 2011

Malta authorities gave the trust permission to announce the confirmation on 10 January 2012. The Olympus is the best preserved World War II relic that the trust has found.

A year ago, the marine archaeology survey team from the Aurora Trust discovered the sub using side scan sonar. But at the time, they weren’t sure exactly what the image showed. The team, which operates from Malta, returned a few months later with deep-sea robotic vehicles to videotape the wreck — twice as deep as recreational divers can go.

According to Wikipedia, on 8 May 1942 Olympus struck a mine and sank off Malta in approximate position 35°55'N, 14°35'E. She had just left Malta on passage to Gibraltar with personnel including many of the crews of the submarines HMS Pandora, HMS P36 and HMS P39 which had been sunk in air raids. There were only 9 survivors out of 98 aboard. They had to swim 7 miles (11 km) back to Malta. 89 crew and passengers were lost with the ship.

Sure enough, there was a submarine, sitting on the bottom, with the propeller intact and the hatch open

Ian Koblick, to the Miami Herald

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