59 Royal Navy submarine HMS Urge has been discovered 77 years after it vanished
A team of marine archaeologists have found the wreckage of a British submarine that disappeared 77 years ago with 44 crew on board. HMS Urge was discovered at the bottom of the sea off Malta in the Mediterranean on Thursday. The research team from the University of Malta, which has spent 20 years surveying the local seas, conducted the search at the request of the grandson of the vessel's commander. Incredible sonar images show the U-Class submarine sitting at a depth of 130 metres (425ft), about two miles off the coast of Malta. Later an unmanned diving craft confirmed the vessel with a large chunk of its bow missing. The university said the British defense ministry had reviewed their material and confirmed it was the wreck of Urge. HMS Urge set sail on April 27, 1942, and had been based with other submarines in Malta where the British Navy carried out deadly mission during the World War II. Due to the relentless German siege of the Mediterranean island, Urge failed to reach Alexandria on the agreed date of May 6. The 32 crew members, 11 navy personnel and a journalist went missing along with the vessel until the recent discovery. Professor Timmy Gambin, who led the mission, told Maltese broadcaster PBS: "The damage to the bow shows a very violent explosion... indicating that the ship would have sunk very fast giving no chance to anybody to survive from this tragedy. Read More Top news stories from Mirror Online "Besides the damage on the bow, the wreck is in absolutely fantastic condition. It is sitting upright on the seabed, very proud, in the direction that it was ordered to take on its way to Alexandria." Prof Gambin also told Reuters that he believed the submarine must have been hit by a mine while sailing on the surface, shortly leaving Malta under the cover of darkness. A ceremony is planned for April to declare the site an official war grave at which Gambin said he hoped the daughter of the Urge’s captain, Lieutenant-Commander E.P. Tomkinson, would be present.