New discovery of WWII HMS submarine wreck in Libya

Discussion in 'Wreck Diving' started by arebi, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. arebi

    arebi Angel Fish

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    Location: Libya
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    in memory of those who lost their lives on the HMS P32 Agust 18, 1941

    we discover the submarine wreck inTripoli ( April 1999).

    the story of our discovery will be coming soon..

    Arebi
     
    Amberjoy likes this.
  2. El Orans

    El Orans ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Netherlands
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    ** MOD POST: **

    Moved to the Wreck Diving forum.
     
  3. arebi

    arebi Angel Fish

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    Location: Libya
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    This is a briefly story of our discovery of the Royal Navy WWII submarine wreck HMS in Tripoli-Libya
    -----------------------------------------------------


    Off shore of Libyan cost and during WWII British submarines patrol our coast hunting for the German and Italian convoy supply ships.
    So close to our coast no one had idea for the locations of such wrecks.
    One day in April 1999 a friend fisherman loses his net, snag by something on the bottom.
    I decided to explore the site , so I planed a deep dive ~ around 70 m with a support diver , for about more than hour sailing ,we started our search, but something wasn't right, there was nothing at the position that was given to us , we tried to extend the search area ,
    After a longer search, a mass of red and white pixels appeared on the sounder screen, it looked like a wreck, the search had lasted about one hour until finally we threw a marker buoy over it.
    We observed spots of fuel at the surface coming up from the bottom which insured that it’s a wreck.
    As we attached the decompression station and spare deco bottles, I started to assemble the cylinders with the right gas mix and checked all the equipment twice.
    Then we started descending into the depths, something I have done so many times before, my desire to discover the mystery , water was so clear that suddenly, the first thing that I saw was an open hatch.
    It was a submarine, the wreck laid standing on its hull on the bottom little angled to port side, and the bow was totally damaged most likely by an explosion.
    Large parts of the bow covered with fishing nets, and angled about 90 degrees to port side.
    We examined the bow that was badly blown, swimming toward the stern the forward deck gun still standing covered with marine growth and sponge in front of the conning tower ready for action, looking from bow to stern the wreck was in perfect condition.
    As I looked down through the conning tower hatch, I found the ladder still attached to the open hatch.
    Over the next few dives we continued the exploration of the stern, the most impressive thing are the two propellers with the rudder.
    The engine hatch was open and the ladder is still attached to the hatch as a clear evidence for the attempt to escape.
    For 8 years now, myself as team leader tried to learn and work hard with the team to identify the wreck.
    We proved that this wreck was Royal Navy HMS U class submarine, but no one knows which one ?
    After 9th years we were able to identify the wreck as the Royal Navy HMS P32 U-class submarine.
    The submarine left Malta on12 August1941for a patrol area nearTripoli Libya, On the 18 August she spotted a small Italian convoy protected by destroyers and torpedo boats heading towards the port.
    The submarine rose to periscope depth to made proper position to attack. A mine, part of the minefield, exploded against her port side and flooded the forward portion of the boat forward of the control room, killing the 8 crew members in that part of the boat.
    The submarine sank to the seabed. Most of the 24 survivors retired to the engine room to attempt an escape.
    Coxswain Abdy, Petty Officer Kirk and ERA Martin attempted to escape using the conning tower. Martin was killed in the attempt but the other two crew survived and were picked up by an Italian ship. No other crew members survived.
    Due to the belief that the escape hatch was a weak point during heavy depth charging it was fairly standard for an iron bar to be welded over the escape hatches of HM submarines on active duty.

    As we found the engine hatch open and the ladder attached,
    So the theory of welded iron bar over the hatch during duty needs further investigation with the official historic version.

    Arebi
     

    Attached Files:

  4. GreenDiverDown

    GreenDiverDown Scuba Instructor

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    Very nice! Tell us more...
     
  5. jeckyll

    jeckyll Humbolt Squid

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    Great stuff!

    What lead you to finally be able to positively identify the sub?
     
  6. shoredivr

    shoredivr Great White

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Ontario
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    Great find! Patience paid off!
     
  7. Don Wray

    Don Wray Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sardis lake, Ms.
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  8. conridge

    conridge Garibaldi

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    I was very touched to read your story on this website. My father was W H Martin the submarine ERA who was lost after escaping from the conning tower of the P32. We have done some research on this for our family but never expected to see photographs of the conning tower hatch that he struggled so hard to open in his determination to escape. My mother told me that he was never a good swimmer and to reach the surface from the seabed was just too much. I was a small child at the time and so have no memory of him but my mother remained in love with him all her life until her death 10 years ago.
    Thankyou Abedi for doing this research after all this time and showing us where a much loved man spent his last moments trying to get back to his beloved family.
    This is always a very poignant time for us with Remembrance Sunday being this weekend and just a month away from his birthday - when he would have been 99.
    I had information that people had been diving in this area from the Submarine Museum, and then contacted a local diving school to find out more.
    Thank you again and may the submariners who did not escape from the ship rest in peace.
    Pamela
     
  9. conridge

    conridge Garibaldi

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    I hope I have answered this correctly. I have never used this technology before, but wanted to respond.
     
  10. Teamcasa

    Teamcasa Sr. Moderator Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Near Pasadena, CA
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    Pamela, You did fine!

    Arebi, Amazing find and thank you for giving the site the respect it and the men that perished deserve.
     
  11. arebi

    arebi Angel Fish

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    Location: Libya
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    Dear Pamela

    today is the Remembrance sunday for all whos lost their lives in the war,My condolences for the loss of your father.
    You can’t imagine what it meant to read your reply.
    I would be very happy to share any information that might be of help.
    For the sensitivity of the issue you may use my E-mail.
    By any chance do you mind posting a photo of your father or crew if available.

    Thanks
    Arebi
     
  12. conridge

    conridge Garibaldi

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    Thank you for your condolences Arebi. I should imagine your surprise at receiving my message was great. Also I cannot put into words my feelings that the P32 submarine had been found, great sadness but also pleasure that his memory is still alive in others minds - I never imagined that this would have been possible, and the photographs were incredibly clear.
    I will be happy to send you a photo of William Martin but have none of the other crew members. I will look out a picture and work out how to add it to this message. I am not very experienced with working with computers so will get advice from one of our sons.
    Best wishes, Pamela
     
  13. arebi

    arebi Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Libya
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    thanks for sending me your historical family photos

    arebi
     
  14. arebi

    arebi Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Libya
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    I wish you all very merry christmas and happy new year :rock_band

    Arebi
     
  15. arebi

    arebi Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Libya
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    On our last survey dives on the wreck we discover a lunched torpedo at Starboard side, ready to fire.
    The submarine was planning to attack the Axis convoy before it hit a mine on port side.:14:
     

    Attached Files:

  16. arebi

    arebi Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Libya
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    A surprise at receiving a new massage from relative of L/ Sto H Edwards how’s lost his life in the submarine P32…
    ------------------------------

    Hello Arebi,

    On behalf of the family of L/Sto Harold Edwards serving on the P32 - We are writing with great thanks for your hard work and dedication, in finding the final resting place of the Submarine. We were impressed with the photographs and the information you have provided.
    Sadly my Grandfather left a loving wife and a young family of 3 Girls behind - we hold great fondness/pride in our hearts for him.

    We would like to send our condolence to all those family’s who lost their loved ones at that sad time.

    If anyone has any other information - we are providing details of our Grandfather and of the Submarine to a local museum in Cornwall - Davidstowe Airfield (opening on June 14th 08) - we would be happy to hear from you.
    Please e-mail us.

    Thank you once again Arebi
    Vanessa Donoghue - L/Sto H Edwards Grand Daughter
     
  17. arebi

    arebi Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Libya
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    Dear All
    This is a copy of onther massage that I have received this morning, such a small world by the new tech of communications !!

    Dear Arebi

    I was most interested to find your news this morning concerning your discovery of the wreck of P32. I congratulate you.

    My mother's brother was Sub-Lieutenant M F Millar, a junior officer on the submarine P32.

    I would be grateful if you would kindly keep me informed as to any further information which you obtain from the wreck site.

    Also, if you can, please let me have contact details for Pamela, the daughter of W H Martin, who wrote to you. I would like to contact her.

    best wishes
    Michael Varvill

    thanks....Arebi :callme:
     
  18. CheddarChick

    CheddarChick Humbolt Squid

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  19. arebi

    arebi Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Libya
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    Family reacted to our discovery of the HMS P32 submarine in Libya

    Dear Arebi,

    Thank you so much for finding the resting place of my beloved uncle P.O. Wallace Charles Barrow who was in charge of the torpedoes on board the submarine.
    His mother and sister, my mother, are no longer alive but I thank you on behalf of all my family for the respectful way you have reported this find.
    To actually have a resting place even after so many years is a great comfort, and who knows, perhaps we may even be able to visit and pay our respects one day.

    Thank you again.

    Janet Milarski Niece
     
  20. ohmdiver

    ohmdiver Orca

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: ohmdiver@hotmail.com
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    Just outstanding! I am always blown away when history becomes personal. While I can claim no connection to the sub, I am deeply moved by what you have found and the response of the relative of the survivors.

    Great job!
     

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