German WW1 submarine ‘sunk by crew’ resurfaces off French coast near Calais

German WW1 submarine ‘sunk by crew’ resurfaces off French coast near Calais

January 12, 2019

A German World War I submarine has resurfaced just off the coast of a French beach near Calais.

The wreck of the incredible vessel has become visible for residents of Wissant, thanks to a combination of shifting sand and tide levels.

The submarine, which was used primarily to lay mines, was sunk by its crew and abandoned after it ran aground in the middle of the night in July 1917.

But it is not the first time the UC-61 has been exposed.

Pieces of the vessel have appeared in the past – usually every two to three years, depending on weather and sea conditions.

This time, it was discovered by local tour guide, Vincent Schmitt, who said he stumbled across it in December last year.

"All the residents of Wissant knew there was a submarine here, but the wreck is mostly silted and therefore invisible.

"Pieces reappear from time to time, but this is the first time we’ve discovered so much."

Historians believe the UC-61 was responsible for sinking at least 11 ships either by laying down mines of firing torpedoes.

On its last journey, it had left Belgium and had been heading to Boulogne-sue-Mer and Le Havre when it got into difficulties.

The 26 members of its crew surrendered to the French authorities.

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