Searchers believe they have discovered a sunken German submarine buried in the sand at the bottom of a Canadian river far inland from the Atlantic Ocean, local media said on Saturday.
Sonar images depicting what appears to be a German U-boat about 18m beneath the surface of the Churchill River in Labrador were taken in 2010 during a search for three drowning victims.
After reviewing them recently, the searchers say they can make out the deck of the ship, cables typically attached to the top of U-boats, a gun mount and snorkels used to bring in air without surfacing.
“We were looking for something completely different, not a submarine, not a U-boat — I mean, no one would ever believe that was possible,” searcher Brian Corbin told public broadcaster CBC.
“We’re pretty sure it is [a U-boat], and we’ve filed this with receiverships and wrecks and I think they’re confirming that it is possibly a U-boat,” Corbin said.
Corbin added that he hopes to return to the river to take a closer look with a robotic submersible while Canadian authorities try to authenticate the discovery.
German U-boats were known to roam off Canada’s east coast during World War II, destroying a passenger ferry between Newfoundland and Cape Breton Island as well as 23 Allied cargo vessels and warships in the Saint Lawrence River.
In the 1980s, remnants of a World War II-era German weather station were also discovered in Labrador.
The German government told Canadian media that about a dozen U-boats remain unaccounted for, but an official at the German embassy in Ottawa added it would be “sensational and unusual” for one to have ended up so far inland, more than 100km from the ocean.