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Stunning pictures of the Royal Oak wreck and data theft...

Stunning new photographs of the wreck of the British battleship HMS Royal Oak have been published in recent days. The team of researchers received special permission to dive and take pictures of the wreck of the vessel, which became the grave of more than 830 sailors who served on it. Unfortunately much of the material
Published: February 2, 2019 - 18:59
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 17:48
Stunning pictures of the Royal Oak wreck and data theft…

Stunning new photographs of the wreck of the British battleship HMS Royal Oak have been published in recent days. The team of researchers received special permission to dive and take pictures of the wreck of the vessel, which became the grave of more than 830 sailors who served on it. Unfortunately much of the material collected fell prey to thieves.

Earlier this year, which will mark the 80th anniversary of the sinking of HMS Royal Oak, a group of researchers received permission from the Ministry of Defence to carry out an expedition to the wreck and collect photo-video data. The project is the result of extensive collaboration and had the full support of the Royal Oak Association and the Royal Navy.

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The magnificent photographs, films and 3D model created from the photogrammetric data collected were intended to mark the anniversary of the sinking of the Royal Oak, as well as adding to the effort to ensure the memory of this tragedy, where in addition to the sailors, a group of 134 boys under the age of 18 died.

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Unfortunately, despite obtaining sensational material documenting the sunken ship, an unexpected problem arose. The data on a laptop and two portable drives were stolen during the break-in. A reward of £1,500 also quickly emerged for the return of the devices and priceless contents. However, to date they have not been recovered.

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Just looking at the data, the theft robbed us of months of hard work. We still had a few months until the 80th anniversary of the sinking of the Royal Oak, when we wanted to share the results of our work, with the families and loved ones of the victims. – Emily Turton, organiser of the expedition to the wreck of HMS Royal Oak, told the BBC.

HMS Royal Oak was a Revenge class battleship measuring 189 metres long and 27 metres wide. She was sunk by the Kriegsmarine submarine U-47 on 14 October 1939, killing 834 crew members. She was the first ship of the British Royal Navy to be sunk in combat during World War II.

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The German U-boat U-47 fled the scene and its commanding Captain Günther Prien returned to Germany as a hero. The sinking of HMS Royal Oak was an important propaganda tool for Germany, and in turn caused a real shock among the British Admiralty. As a direct result of the attack, the Churchill Barrier was built to protect access to the Scapa Flow anchorage.

The wreck of the battleship, due to its status as a war grave, has been under a total diving ban since 2002.

Source: bbc.com, sky.com, orcadian.co.uk, mailchi.mp, forces.net

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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