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Home   Medway   News   Article

German U-boat from the First World War revealed in the mudflats of the River Medway near Humble Bee Creek at Stoke Saltings

20 December 2013
by Rachael Woods

A German U-boat from the First World War that lies encased in the mudflats of the Medway is causing quite a stir.

Experts believe that the U-boat, which is the only visible wreckage of the deadly weapon in the UK, might be the UB122.

It has been marooned on mudflats off the coast for nearly a century, but can now be seen more fully than usual after low tides following storm surges.

Remains of U-boat abandoned on the Kentish marshes at Humble Bee Creek, Stoke Saltings. Picture Damian Grady, supplied by English Heritage

Remains of U-boat abandoned on the Kentish marshes. Picture: Damian Grady/English Heritage

Launched in February 1918, the vessel was surrendered nine months later - having undergone just two unsuccessful patrols.

Mark Dunkley, a marine expert with English Heritage, said: "Everything has been taken out of the U-boat that would lead its identification, but our best hunch is that it is the UB122."

He added: "We know that some U-boat engines were re-used at a cement works at Halling and the Medway U-boat does show that her engines were cut out."

The vessel was among 100 U-boats that were brought to the River Medway to be scrapped after the First World War.

Remains of U-boat abandoned on the Kentish marshes. Picture Damian GradyEnglish Heritage

Remains of U-boat abandoned on the Kentish marshes. Picture: Damian Grady/English Heritage

Mr Dunkley believes it is well protected in situ, adding: "The U-boat is not under threat of deterioration and is being preserved where it is."

It is located near Humble Bee Creek, Stoke Saltings, on the Isle of Grain marshes, but people are advised the area is difficult and dangerous to reach.

Click here for more news from Medway.

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