Plunder worries over sunken U-boat off Cork (UC-42)

oncerns have been raised about the risks of a sunken First World War German U-boat off Cork being plundered.
The site of the wreck has recently been identified with a marker buoy placed on the surface.

Amateur divers who discovered the submarine recently say they are mystified as to who placed the buoys over the site.

The UC-42 sank close to the Old Head of Kinsale on Dec 10, 1917, after it had been sent to lay mines within the vicinity of Cork Harbour.

It is believed that, as the crew were laying the mines, one of them exploded, which led to the deaths of the 27 Germans onboard.

The wreck is now officially a war grave and lies 27m down.

Cork county manager Martin Riordan has been asked to investigate the appearance of the buoy after John A Collins (Fine Gael) said he was worried the wreck would be plundered.

Amateur divers warn of mines still onboard the vessel, which could also present a danger if they were tampered with.

“I am led to believe that neither the Naval Service, the Army, or the Department of Marine know who put it there. People are concerned that valuable items could be taken from it,” said Mr Collins.

The mayor of Co Cork, Tim Lombard (Fine Gael), said that, as the vessel was a war grave, an exclusion zone should be established around it and enforced.

An amateur diver who surveyed the vessel but who did not want to be identified, said: “It is very unlikely that a fishing boat would put down a marker over the wreck to stop nets getting snagged in the remains of the vessel.”

An interesting development regarding UC-42 which was discovered in 2010, she was sunk by her own mine off the coast of Cork, to my knowledge the wreak is now the property of the German navy.

Its getting big money now for militaria, many wrecks are being plundered by unscrupulous teams, regardless of the wrecks history or classification.

The wreck is officially a cemetery but we’re living in a time where cemeteries all over the country are plundered for scrap and non-ferrous metal.
So why should they care in this case?

UC-42 was laying mines when she sank and is known to be carrying more undeployed mines.

There really is no way to protect a wreck site that is readily accessible. Beyond encapsulating the entire wreck in concrete, there is little to be done except catch those you can, and hope the publicity dissuades any others.
In the U.S. theft from Cemeteries of non ferrous metals has gone on for many years. And in areas of long habitation, even the headstones of the earliest settlers are being stolen as they have value as folk art.

Found this: