The wreckage of the British T-class submarine HMS P 311 was found on Sunday off the coast of Sardinia in Italy by a team of Italian wreck-hunters, 73 years after it lost without a trace during WW2.
A team led by Genoa-based diver wreck-hunter, Massimo Domenico Bordone, found the remains at about 100 metres deep, about 5 nautical miles east of the isle of Tavolara, off Sardinia. The wreckage is reportedly in quite good condition with only its prow showing damage from the explosion. In all likelihood, experts say the vessel's inner chamber was not flooded as it sank
The HMS P 311 left Malta on December 28th 1942, on a mission to destroy the Italian battleships Trieste and Gorizia as they lay at anchor in the port of La Maddalena, located on an island of the same name off the northern coast of Sardinia. The sub vanished without a trace after it was believed to have been hit by a mine in the gulf of Olbia on or around January 2, 1943.
P 311 was the only boat of her class never to be given a name. She was due to have been named Tutenkhamen but was lost before this was formally done. Paola Pegoraro of the L’Orso diving club, which provided logistics for Mr Bondone's shipwreck search operation, told The Telegraph that Mr Bondone was able to positively identify the submarine as the P311 by the two Chariot-style “human torpedoes” that are affixed to the outside of the vessel.
A Royal Navy spokesperson said they are examining records to determine whether or not this is indeed the Royal Navy submarine. The Royal Navy said it expects the wreck to be treated with respect while they work to confirm the identity of the submarine. If confirmed the HMS P 311 would almost certainly not be moved from its final resting place, irrespective of whether or not bodies are sealed inside. ‘Once a military vessel sinks it becomes a war grave and is left where it lies.’