Due to worsening conditions in the weather, the operation which was underway to recover the bell of the HMS Hood in the North Atlantic has been postponed, much to the disappointment of the team who were anxious to bring the World War II battle cruiser’s bell up to the surface.
The project, for which U.S. philanthropist Paul Allen donated use of his yacht Octopus, had been in its tenth day when work was reluctantly discontinued. The crew and research team, however, laid commemorative wreaths in the area where the ship was sunk by the German ship Bismarck on May 24, 1941. On that day, 1,415 members of the naval service from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Poland and Britain died.
Speaking to the media, Allen said: “I was honoured to be involved in this project, and I stand ready to help the Royal Navy try again in the future.
“Recovering this bell is a way to commemorate the hundreds of brave sailors who were lost at sea and I want to see it through.”
Allen has offered to continue the operation later at no cost whatsoever to the Royal Navy and the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence.
The HMS Hood Association, which includes members who served on the battleship before its last mission and family members of those who died in the battle, fully supports the recovery of the ship’s bell, which was located 2,800 below the waves in Denmark Strait. The operation has been run by Blue Water Recoveries Ltd.