Bell of a destroyer escort vessel recovered after 75 years

A international expedition of researchers and divers has recovered the bell of ORP Kujawiak, a destroyer escort vessel which was sunk during World War II off shore of Malta.

The recovered bell (by The Rising Heart of L72 Expedition 2017)

The ship was sunk on the night of 15-16 June 1942 after hitting a German sea mine while escorting an Allied convoy. In total a number of 13 crewmembers were reported as dead. The shipwreck was discovered in September 2014 at the depth of around 100 metres off shore of La Valetta on Malta. Last year the divers managed to discover the bell of the vessel and attempted to recover it in the present season. Along with the recovery underwater documentation was carried out in order to produce a 3D model of the shipwreck. Two teams of divers were working simultaneously to complete both tasks. The bell is reported to have been located in a hard accessible place and was strongly mounted. The divers tried to cut it off with a pneumatic saw but eventually had to use a hand saw. The bell was resurfaced with use of decompression buoys, as it weighted more than 65 kilogrammes. The operation was observed by Maltese archaeologists. The artefact will undergo conservation and possibly will be exhibited at the Malta Maritime Museum.

(after The Rising Heart of L72 Expedition 2017, Shipwreck Expeditions – Wyprawy Wrakowe & RMF24)

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