- On 09/05/2015
- In World War Wrecks
By Larisa Brown and Imogen Calderwood - Mail Online
For more than 70 years, the whereabouts of a British submarine which vanished in the Mediterranean during the Second World War has remained a mystery.
But now a 76-year-old scuba diver has discovered its wreck 160ft below the waves off the Libyan coast.
Researchers now believe the Royal Navy submarine sank along with its 29 crew and ten passengers after being dive-bombed by an Italian bi-plane.
HMS Urge was paid for by the town of Bridgend, South Wales, after residents raised money by organising dances and whist drives.
It disappeared while sailing from Malta to the Egyptian city of Alexandria in 1942 and families of those on board never knew what happened to their loved ones.
But Belgian diver and dive archaeologist Jean-Pierre Misson discovered the wreck using sonar while diving off Libya at Marsa el Hilal, near Tobruk in 2012. However, as the security situation in the country deteriorated after the downfall of Colonel Gaddafi he had to give up his plans to dive on the site.
He analysed the sonar pictures earlier this year and has finally identified the wreck as HMS Urge from the distinctive shape of Britain’s U-class submarines and corroborating German naval reports from the time.