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Shipping: Deadly Channel U-boat wreck to be moved to deeper water

Contributed by editor on Jun 25, 2008 - 12:00 AM


A deadly U-boat sunk off Folkestone is to be moved to deeper water.

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Divers have completed a survey of the wreck of a
German submarine which sank in 1918 and is threatening to rise up from
the depths of the English Channel.

U-Boat 33, was one of the deadliest submarines in the German Naval fleet
during the First World War.

Lying in shallow waters, the wreck of the UB-33 has been disturbed by
passing vessels, leading to fears that it could break free from the
seabed and rise to the surface.

The UB (Unterseeboot) 33 was sunk with all 28 crew on April 11, 1918,
after hitting a mine around the Varne Bank sandbank in the Dover Strait.
It was armed with six torpedoes, two already loaded in its forward

The area is directly beneath the shipping lane now used by ferries
travelling to Calais and Boulogne and much of the movement of the wreck
has been caused by the turbulence of vessels travelling above it.

Lighthouse authority Trinity House requires a minimum clearance depth of
26.5m (87ft) but the U-boat, which has been in the Dover Strait since
1918, is just 23.5m (77ft) below the surface, which does not leave
enough clearance for modern ships.

P&O Ferries announced last week that they had ordered two massive superferries which will come into service in 2010.

Divers have completed a survey of the wreck and it hoped to move it into
deeper water later this summer.

The U-boat, which is a classified as a war grave, is one of dozens of
similar vessels sunk off the coast of Britain during the war.

The wreck lies to the south of the Varne Bank and eight miles south of

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