News
Wreck Of British Boat From WWII Found Off The Coasts Of Iceland

Wreck Of British Boat From WWII Found Off The Coasts Of Iceland

Alice Demurtas
Words by
Photos by
Wikimedia Commons

Published May 16, 2018

The wreck of British tugboat ‘Empire World’ was recently found in Faxaflói bay, just off the southwest coast of Iceland, reports The Icelandic Coast Guard.

The ship had disappeared on November 17th 1944 with 17 people aboard, including a sailor married to an Icelandic woman with whom he had a 9 month old daughter. The British Embassy in Iceland and the relatives of said crew members have already been notified.

The Coast Guard found the shipwreck at the end of April, when one of its vessels was sailing across the Faxaflói. The crew aboard spotted unidentified mounds at the bottom of the sea that they believed could have possibly been the remnants of ship.

Since there had been no records of a shipwreck in the area of Faxaflói, the Coast Guard later sent its vessel Baldur, which is usually employed for hydrographic surveying, to examine the mounds with a self-controlled submarine.

It was only after a second tentative of immersion with an underwater camera, however, that the crew managed to confirm that the remnants found belonged to Empire World.

“The fate of Empire World is connected to that of the freighter Goðafoss and the tanker Shirvan, which were sunk by a German submarine in 1944, whose story is well-known,” the Coast Guard writes. “However, not many people know about the tugboat that was sent from Reykjavik to assist the tanker.”

Although Shivan had been severely damaged by the German torpedo, it stayed afloat for quite some time, before drifting off in flames. After the Empire World was sent out to help, the tugboat disappeared and nothing was heard of it until now—74 years later.

Despite speculations, the Coast Guard is still unsure about what happened to Empire World—for instance whether it met the same fate as Shivan. No records of a tugboat being sunk by a submarine were found by German authorities, prompting the Coast Guard to look into weather conditions as a possible cause. No signs of collision with a torpedo or a naval mine have been found either, making the miserable destiny of Empire World quite the mystery.

 


News
Two Icelanders In Gender Equality Top 100

Two Icelanders In Gender Equality Top 100

by

Two Icelanders – both of whom hold (or held) political office – have made the cut for Apolitical’s Gender Equality

News
Trans Iceland Gets Involved In Refugee Case: An “Absolute Tragedy”

Trans Iceland Gets Involved In Refugee Case: An “Absolute Tragedy”

by

Trans Iceland has been reaching out to numerous organisations, including the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), on the case of

News
Number Of People Choosing To Learn Icelandic Reaches Record High

Number Of People Choosing To Learn Icelandic Reaches Record High

by

According to the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, more than 200,000 people all over the world are registered as users

News
Björk Gives First TV Performance In Eight Years

Björk Gives First TV Performance In Eight Years

by

After an eight year long TV hiatus, Icelandic musician Björk gave a memorable appearance on the BBC last night, during

News
More Than Half Of Icelanders Want To Welcome More Refugees

More Than Half Of Icelanders Want To Welcome More Refugees

by

Most Icelanders who took public broadcasting’s election poll believe Iceland should accept more refugees to the country. Results differed depending

News
Are You A Proofreader? The Grapevine Needs YOU!

Are You A Proofreader? The Grapevine Needs YOU!

by

Do you know your em-dash from your hyphen, centre from center, and Seyðisfjörður from Seydisfjordur? Do you have feelings about

Show Me More!