• July 19, 2024

[WATCH] German U-Boat Finally Found 72 Years After It Sank

A German U-Boat has been spotted 30 miles off the coast of North Carolina – 72 years after it sank during a Nazi mission.

Wreckage of the submerged U-576 submarine was discovered by sonar near Ocracoke on August 24, seven years after the search began. The vessel went down during a battle off the Outer Banks on 15 July, 1942, during the Second World War.

It is believed the 44 sailors who were on board at the time are entombed inside. Video footage shows the U-Boat resting on its side on the ocean floor. It lies below an area where Third Reich sailors destroyed merchant ships and caused chaos on trade routes, eight months after the United States entered the war. They killed hundreds of people in the process.

The wooden decking has rotted away after more than half a century under water. But the hull, gun deck and the hatches leading to where the bodies likely lie are still visible.

NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, along with the University of North Carolina’s Coastal Studies Institute and the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, had been looking for the sub since 2009 in the area where the battle had taken place. With the help of sonar and other devices, it was found in August 2014. One of the merchant ships it sank in the battle had been found nearby the year before.

Joe Hoyt, a NOAA Maritime Archaeologist, told the Washington Post: ‘It’s sort of unreal. ‘I knew the story, [but] the moment that we get in there and it comes out of the gloom at you . . . it was humbling. ‘It’s all there, just as it went down in 1942. One of the things we’re looking for is what happened to the crew.

‘Did they try to get out the escape hatches? Did the ship flood catastrophically? Were they on the seabed for some period of time, disabled with air still in the sub? Merchant vessels often came under attack, and though the official count of wartime casualties is not known, the merchant marines suffered thousands of losses.

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