Belfast Telegraph

Foyle 'submarine' is just rock and debris, reveals minister

By Linda Stewart

The mystery of the ‘submarine’ in Lough Foyle has been solved.

The answer? A rocky outcrop and a lot of man-made debris.

On a visit to Londonderry yesterday, Environment Minister Alex Attwood revealed what divers sent down to investigate the anomaly on the bed of Lough Foyle had discovered.

At one point it was believed the boat-shaped image sighted in a sonar scan could have been the wreck of a WWII submarine. But after sonar scans, it emerged the image was a strange pattern.

Divers from the Centre For Maritime Archaeology were sent down to inspect the lough bed on May 4. With visibility at no more than a few feet, they were forced to carry out fingertip surveys of the area.

The minister said: The dive has concluded that there is a seam or ridge of bedrock/rock outcrop on the riverbed, around which there is various debris.

“There is no photograph to confirm this due to poor water quality — but diver and sonar images lead to the conclusion that there is nothing of significance on the bed of the lough.”

Mr Attwood said the debris appeared to consist of a mixture of metal and timber, but it was difficult to glean more detail as the visibility was so poor.

“The quality of the water varies depending on the time of year. They could only see a few feet in front of them,” he said.

“Unless there is some compelling evidence otherwise, that concludes the matter.

“I also want to recall how the search was commenced in the first place — the search for a missing person. As the story of the ‘submarine that never was’ closes, I wish to remember the family of the person who was missing.”

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