More than a century after sinking into the sands of a beach in northern France, a German submarine from the First World War was unearthed.
The UC-16 was stranded on the shores of Wissant, France, in July 1917, because of a thick fog, and was inundated by the crew so that it was not in danger. it can not be used by allied forces. Over time, the wind and sand completely buried the abandoned ship under the waters of the ocean. Now, two large parts of the rusty structure have become visible to residents and tourists just 100 meters from the shore and have become a kind of local attraction.
Little is known about the German submarine, a century old, with the exception of some elements of its battle history and what became of its crewmembers. The UC-16 was responsible for the capture of 11 ships during the First World War, mainly from France and the United Kingdom. On his last trip, he left the village of Zeebrugge, Belguim and headed to the ports of Boulogne-sur-Mer and La Havre in France to lay mines.
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However, the UC-16 did not make a lot of way and landed just north of Boulogne-sur-Mer, in Wissant. When the crew realized that the ship was unsaleable, they quickly flooded it and surrendered to the French authorities.
The opinions on what will happen to the wreck differ according to the inhabitants of Wissant. Bernard Bracq, Mayro de Wissant, believes that this resurgence of the UC-16 will not last long.
"The wreckage is visible briefly every two or three years, depending on tides and wind causing sand movements, but a good gust of wind and wreckage will disappear again," he said. he told the BBC.
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Other historians and locals do not agree. Wissant's tour guide, Vincent Schmitt, says tides and wind ahead could expose the submarine even more. He spoke of the excitement generated by the emergence of the UC-16 and what we could draw from it by discovering more details about the historic ship.
"All the inhabitants of Wissant knew that there was a submarine here, but the wreck is largely inflamed and therefore invisible," he said.
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"Pieces reappear from time to time, but it's the first time we've discovered that much."