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German WWI U-boat found after 100 years missing at sea

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A different Imperial German Navy U-Boat, U-14, pictured in 1918 in the Black Sea. Photo: DPA
08:44 CET+01:00
A wreck found at the bottom of the sea off England has been identified as a long-lost German submarine from the First World War, an energy company announced on Thursday.

ScottishPower Renewables workers detected the submarine lying 90 kilometres (56 miles) off the coast of Norfolk in East England, 30 metres deep in the North Sea, while researching for a windfarm development in 2012.

A team of Dutch Navy divers, who hoped the wreck might be the Netherlands' final missing submarine from the Second World War, investigated the wreck and filmed it where it lay preserved on the sea bed.

Studies identified the submarine as Germany's U-31, which left for a patrol on January 13, 1915 and never returned.

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"Unravelling the whole story behind the submarine has been fascinating," said Charlie Jordan, project director with ScottishPower renewables.

"It's heartening to know that the discovery will provide closure to relatives and descendants of the submariners lost who may have always wondered what had happened to their loved ones."

It is thought that the submarine hit a mine and sank, killing all 35 men on board.

Mark Dunkley, a marine archaeologist at preservation organisation Historic England, said that the submarine was in a "remarkable condition".

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"The discovery serves as a poignant reminder of all those lost at sea, on land and in the air during the First World War," Dunkley said.

SEE ALSO: German war graves are being desecrated on TV

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