HMS Volage

UK vessel found six decades later

From AFP

Search teams said on Monday that they had found the wreck of the British destroyer HMS Volage, whose sinking in 1946 off Albania prompted a diplomatic row and is seen as an early episode of the Cold War.

The wreckage of the vessel was found in the Ionian Sea by a team from the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, the Albanian Archaeology Institute and Albanian defense ministry, project spokesperson Auron Tare said.

The Volage sank on October 22, 1946, when it hit a mine near the Albanian port of Saranda, as it raced to the aid of the HMS Saumarez, a second British destroyer which itself had been hit by a mine shortly before.

Forty-four sailors lost their lives and 42 more were injured in the incident which severely strained relations between Britain and then Soviet ally Albania.

It was one of several incidents involving Royal Navy ships getting into difficulties in Albanian waters at the time, and together the events became known as the Corfu Channel Incident.

The wreckage of the Volage was found three months ago, but the British and Albanian governments have only now decided to make the discovery public, Tare said.

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