Bad Weather Prevents Salvage of Historic Battleship's Bell

Press Release
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Wreath Laying: Photo credit MOD

An attempt by US philanthropist to recover the bell of the sunken Second World War British battle-cruiser HMS Hood postponed.

After more than ten days working in the North Atlantic in worsening weather and difficult deep currents, the recovery team on board US philanthropist Paul Allen's yacht Octopus were reluctantly forced to discontinue the operation, but not before commemorative wreaths were laid where the ship sank.

The bell was found in more than 2,800 metres of water in the Denmark Strait, where it has lain since Hood was sunk by the German warship Bismarck on 24 May 1941.

The wreck of HMS Hood is designated under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 and the recovery of the bell has been licensed by the British Government.

From a rain-swept flight deck, crew members of the Octopus laid wreaths in memory of the 1,415 members of the naval service who died, including personnel from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Poland.

Mr Allen said: "I was honoured to be involved in this project, and I stand ready to help the Royal Navy try again in the future. Recovering this bell is a way to commemorate the hundreds of brave sailors who were lost at sea and I want to see it through."

 

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