Wrecked WWI German U-boat found off Belgian coast

By Sara Shayanian  |  Sept. 19, 2017 at 9:41 AM
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Sept. 19 (UPI) -- A submerged, but well-preserved World War I submarine was found off the coast of Belgium on Tuesday.

The German UB-II submarine was almost completely intact, and authorities believe that up to 23 bodies could be inside, as typical crews of that era consisted of 22 people and a captain.

"The submarine is in such good condition that we reckon all the bodies are still on board," West Flanders Governor Carl Decaluwé told reporters, according to the BBC.

It is not known which one of the 11 known German submarine wrecks this one is yet, however, the conning tower and periscopes are intact and visible to scientists. Two torpedo tubes were found lying apart from the wreck, as well.

Authorities will not give the exact location of the submarine to prevent looters, but they said the wreck was found 100 feet beneath the surface of the North Sea. Scientists believe that the vessel's demise began when it made contact with a mine, igniting somewhere around the top of the submarine.

German submarines disrupted British trade routes in the English Channel as part of country's wartime strategy.

UB-II submarines, commonly known as U-boats, were built in 1915 and 1916.

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