The wreck is 57.6 metres long, 4.1 metres wide and 4.6 metres high and the bow appears to be facing south.
Andy Paine, Vattenfall’s project director for the East Anglia Offshore Wind Farm, comments:
“Following the discovery the team reported its findings to the relevant authorities, including RoW (Receiver of Wreck) in the UK.”
The submarine was originally believed to be the Dutch military submarine HNLMS 013 which went missing in action in June 1940.
“We were all extremely keen to make contact with the Dutch Navy to see if this could be the submarine they have been looking for all those years: could we at last have solved the mystery?” says Paine.
GERMAN WWI SUBMARINE
Photos, taken by the Dutch Navy of the conning tower and deck lay-out, suggested the wreck was of German origin.
The wreck was officially identified as German submarine, U-31, which left on a patrol mission on 13 January 1915 never to return. It sank with the loss of its entire complement of four officers and crew of 31 men.
The wreck is approximately 90km offshore in the North Sea but sits on the seabed at a depth of only 30 metres.
As an official military maritime grave, the U-31 wreck will remain in its final resting place and plans for any offshore wind farm development will proceed ensuring no disturbance to the area.
Video “The discovery of a submarine wreck”