Whitby war wreck lying off the coast has been granted government protection

An image of the gun from the submarine
An image of the gun from the submarine

The wreckage of a First World War U-boat that lies off the North Yorkshire coastline has been granted government protection.

It comes off the back of advice from Historic England to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The vessel is a German Imperial Navy UC-70 mine-laying submarine which was commissioned in 1916 and is wrecked in Whitby waters.

It conducted ten patrols and sank 40 ships during the war before being bombed on August 28, 1918 with the loss of all its crew.

The UC-70 is representative of the Type UC II class of submarines, which was the most successful submarine design in history, and was discovered as part of Historic England's recent work to research and survey First World War submarine losses within UK territorial waters around England.

The mystery wreck of two possible late 17th or early 18th century merchant ships containing 15 cast iron English cannons off Chesil Beach in Dorset has also been granted the same protection.

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said:"These wrecks are separated by 280 miles and almost 300 years but they both comprise important elements of our maritime heritage.

The importance of the UC-70 lies in its historical interest and the vulnerability of its component parts as well as its sensitivity as a war grave. The Chesil Beach wreck site is also important but for different reasons - it's rare to discover wooden ships of this age surviving on the seabed with so many cannons."