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 Thursday, 19 December, 2002, 10:58 GMT
Film team finds wreck of Ark Royal
HMS Ark Royal
HMS Ark Royal was a vast ship for the time
Divers filming a BBC documentary have found the wreck of HMS Ark Royal, the famous wartime aircraft carrier.

The aircraft carrier became famous when its torpedo planes hit the German battleship Bismarck during the Second World War, allowing other British warships to close in and sink her.

HMS Ark Royal sinking
HMS Ark Royal sank in the Mediterranean
But after that 1941 victory, the vessel herself was torpedoed by the German submarine U-81, 30 miles off Gibraltar.

A BBC spokesman said on Wednesday the wreck of the Ark Royal would not be raised.

Ministry of Defence personnel gave film makers a rough idea of the location of the Ark Royal.

Divers found her lying in 3,500ft of water - where she had been resting for the past 61 years.

Bluebird

When she sank she had been returning Hurricane aircraft fighter crews to Malta.

One sailor died while the rest of the 1,500 crew were picked up by other ships as the famous ship went down on November 13, 1941.

The ship was was commissioned on 16 November 1938 and took up a name famous in naval history.

The wreck of the ship was discovered as part of a project looking into the marine archaeology of great battles in the history of the Royal Navy.

A BBC spokesman said: "We do not intend to try to raise the ship. It still belongs to the MoD."

The programme was made by producer Mike Rossiter who filmed the raising of Donald Campbell's Bluebird boat, in a BBC1 documentary.

See also:

07 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
21 Aug 02 | Wales
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