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Lost U-boat rediscovered by divers 70 years after it was sunk by its crew

Divers find sunken U-boat off the east coast after details of the wreck's location are lost.

World War Two Nazi Germany U-boat U-365 type VIIC submarine at sea
Charles McCain

A U-boat scuttled off the north-east coast during the Second World War has been rediscovered after details of its location were lost.

A group of divers have filmed the wartime wreck for the first time at the spot where it has lain off the Buchan coast for the past 70 years.

The wreck of U-boat 1206 was originally found during oil exploration in the 1970s, but documents showing her location were lost.

Now after a search lasting more than a decade, a group of dive enthusiasts from Buchan have rediscovered her off the Collieston coast. It was an emotional moment for the group.

Mike Wilcox from Buchan Divers said: "It was absolutely stunning, we've dived a number of wrecks and pieces of rock thinking that this was the final wreck and to actually get on and find her was superb."

The U-boat was left to the sea just three weeks before the end of the Second World War, after suffering a serious leak after the vessel's toilet was operated improperly.

Jim Burke from Buchan Divers said: "While she was sitting offshore here in about 70 metres, they were trying to repair the leak and they were trying to repair the diesel engines I think she wasn't performing very well, the leak got worse, it covered the batteries in sea water which generated cholorine gas so they were all choking, and they brought the boat to the surface.

"They fired off the torpedos at the front of the boat to try and keep the boyancy right, set skuttling charges and then she sank, she disappeared from view."

Some of the crew escaped in liferafts, some were picked up by a local fishing boat, the others made it to the coast and scaled rocks near Cruden Bay. Three lost their lives in the attempt, the rest were taken as prisoners of war.

Mike Wilcox added: "We go onto the wreck, we turn and go towards the bow of the wreck so you're looking at the remains of the outer casing and we head towards the bow, once we get down to the bow we turn back to look at the wreck and at that point you can see that there's still a torpedo, or what we believe to be a torpedo in one of the tubes but then looking into the other three tubes you can see that they're empty.

"Once you get to the stern dropping down to the sea bed to check the stern the torpedo tube at the stern is also empty, so you can see that as a black hole and then coming round up towards the conning tower where the shot line was you can see the conning tower and the other divers coming into view."

Now Buchan divers have rediscovered the wreck of U-1206 just off this coast they hope its correct location will be mapped, so it is never lost again.

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