British lost WWII submarine found off Sardinia

An Italian diver claims to have found the sunken wreck of the British World War Two submarine HMS P 311 lying off the coast of Sardinia at a depth of ninety meters.

The wreck was sighted by Massimo Domenico Bondone and his team of divers not far from the island of Tavolara, Italian news site La Nuova Sardegna reported.

The Royal Navy is now in the process of examining the claims to determine whether or not the wreck is, in fact, the lost submarine, BBC reported a navy spokesman saying.

Bondone told the Italian news site that the wreck of the 84-meter-long vessel was almost intact. Only the bow is damaged by the mine she struck. The seventy one men crewing the submarine are still trapped inside the submarine, lying in their steel coffin for 73 years.

HMS P 311 was a T-class submarine whose construction was completed in March, 1942. The submarine was commissioned in August 1942 under the command of Lieutenant R.D. Cayley.

She became part of the 10th Submarine Flotilla at Malta in November 1942. Contact with P 311 was lost during a mission that started December 28 and she was declared overdue on January 8, 1943, after she failed to return to her base.

It is believed that the submarine struck a mine and sunk off Sardinia, on or around January 2, 1943.