It is a diver’s Mona Lisa – a beautiful picture. Can you imagine the smile that must have come across diver Brian Corbin’s face when he and his team reviewed the images taken with their side-scan sonar and realized that they were most likely looking at a hither to undiscovered Nazi U-boat! And the icing on the cake; it’s in the Churchill River, Labrador, Canada more than 100 kilometres (62 miles) from the Atlantic Ocean – amazing! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zB1kyTVdxu4
Those sneaky German U-boats were known to cruise off Canada’s east coast during the World War Two, taking out 23 Allied cargo vessels and warships in the Saint Lawrence River and even a passenger ferry between Newfoundland and Cape Breton Island. Seemingly a long way from anywhere, the region though, was of strategic importance during the war. An Canadian air base, which the U.S. military used extensively during the war, was built in the early 1940s and operates still as 5 Wing Goose Bay (Royal Canadian Air Force http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/5w-5e/index-eng.asp .
It’s old new news! Though the discovery was made earlier the story has recently come to light for the public.
This is not the first U-boat discovered in Canada; in 2004 a team of marine archeologists and divers located the Nazi submarine U-215 intact in about 90 metres (295 feet) of water about 200 kilometres (124 miles) south of Shelburne in the area of Georges Bank off of Nova Scotia Canada’s south coast. Mike Fletcher, project leader said that it was a very specific style of U-boat, only six ever made and that you could look inside and see the live mines still there! For more info: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2004/07/13/Uboat_040713.html
Diving U Boats is a rush and can be a passion for many of us. If it’s a sub within range you can bet there’s a PADI pro’s out there that can get you to one … put U-boat diving on your bucket list. For more on diving and enjoying submarines see yesterday’s bolg post too.
Some popular U-boats:
U-85, Sunk 14 Apr, 1942 near Cape Hatteras, USA, in position 35.55N, 75.13W, by gunfire from the US destroyer USS Roper.
U-352, Sunk 9 May, 1942 in the North Atlantic south-west of Cape Hatteras, USA, in position 34.21N, 76.35W, by depth charges from the US Coast Guard cutter USCGC Icarus.
U-505 on display in Chicago: Captured at sea west of Africa on 4 June, 1944 by ships and Wildcat aircraft of the US Navy task force 22.3, escort carrier USS Guadalcanal, destroyer escorts USS Pillsbury, USS Chatelain, USS Flaherty, USS Jenks and USS Pope. http://www.msichicago.org/whats-here/exhibits/u-505/
If you are looking for way too much information on U-Boats check out this site: http://www.uboat.net/index.html
Randy Giles, Regional Manager, PADI Canada