US Team Finds Sunken WWII Sub
HMS Olympus found on sea floor near Malta
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2012 4:16 AM CST
Updated Jan 12, 2012 6:32 AM CST
The HMS Olympus in Malta's Grand Harbor, December 1941. It was sunk in May 1942.   (Wikipedia)

(Newser) – The watery grave of scores of British servicemen has been found nearly 70 years after their submarine was sunk by a mine off the coast of Malta. A team from the American marine archaeology group Aurora Trust used a remotely operated vehicle to find the HMS Olympus on the floor of the Mediterranean, the Guardian reports. Out of the 98 men aboard—including many survivors of three earlier submarine sinkings in the area—only nine survived both the sinking and the seven-mile swim to shore.

"One of the survivors told me how he looked back from the water to the incongruous sight of all these shoes and boots lined up in neat rows on the deck as the sub was sinking," a naval historian says. Apart from the mine damage, "she was in pristine condition, sitting upright as if she'd been placed on the seabed," says the Aurora Trust's archeological director, who stresses that the site was treated sensitively. The team's mission, he says, is mapping "the underwater landscape of war." British authorities plan to formally designate the site as a war grave.

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Showing 3 of 6 comments
Jan 12, 2012 7:26 PM CST
so sad but i understand. nobody wants to chance upon, much less intentionally seek out 70 year old dead sea men.
Jan 12, 2012 11:56 AM CST
Jan 12, 2012 8:05 AM CST
I'm glad they found this, but calling it pristine after being underwater for 70 years might be a bit of a stretch.