Belfast Telegraph

Monday 14 July 2014

Souvenir frogmen targeting U-boat near Cork

A World War One U-boat wreck off the Irish coast has been targeted by souvenir hunters because it is not an official war grave.

German authorities are now in talks with the Irish Government in a bid to impose a strict exclusion zone around it.

The UC-42 was laying mines off Cork harbour when it sank after detonating one of its own explosives in late September 1917, killing 27 crew members.

Its location was discovered by Irish divers on November 6, 2010.

They tried to keep the site a secret, however the UC-42's resting place became widely known and it is feared some non-club divers have tried to take souvenirs.

The German Embassy has since been in contact with the Irish Government over declaring the site an official war grave, the Irish Independent reported.

German Navy officials were deeply moved that the Irish divers who discovered the wreck placed a special memorial, complete with the Imperial German Navy insignia, on the submarine.

The Irish divers are now hoping to trace surviving relatives in Germany of the UC-42 crew.

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