The exact location of a Royal Navy submarine believed to be lost after it was sunk during the Second World War with the loss of at least 50 British lives has been discovered off the coast of Denmark.
HMS Tarpon was sunk in April 1940 after coming under attack from a German merchant vessel but the wreck was never found.
Now, 76 years on, experts seeking wrecks from the First World War’s Battle of Jutland discovered the T-class submarine in the North Sea, about 50 miles from the harbour town of Thyborøn.
The wreck was discovered sitting almost upright under 130ft of water earlier this year by Gert Normann Andersen, who runs a Danish war museum, and Innes McCartney, a British marine archaeologist.
This month divers reached the wreck and found open hatches, shattered glass in the periscope and severe destruction below the tower where it appeared to have been hit by a depth charge. There was also evidence of a battle, with two of its torpedo tubes empty. German naval records suggest the Tarpon had fired twice at a German merchant ship before being sunk in a devastating counterattack.
It means families of those killed on board HMS Tarpon finally know the exact location of the submarine, which is being treated as a war grave.
Sheila Summer, 77, from Merseyside, lost her father Reginald Kennold who was on board the Tarpon when it was sunk.
She told the Guardian: “It never crossed my mind that it would be found. It was thought-provoking to see the wreck on the bottom and to know my father had been in there.”
On seeing images of the wreckage of the submarine, Dr Innes McCartney told the Guardian: “No one even knew it was there.
“It looked very bad. They had depth charged it on several occasions. The damage was so severe behind the conning tower it would have flooded in seconds.”
There was also a crater on the seabed, thought to have been created by one of the powerful depth charges.