Page last updated at 15:08 GMT, Sunday, 30 November 2008

U-boat surfaces as new attraction

U543 being put back together at Woodside ferry terminal
The U-boat will be sited next to a model of the first submarine Resurgam

A German U-boat which was once housed at the former Historic Warships Museum in Birkenhead is to re-open to the public next spring.

A Merseyside transport consortium bought the U-534 for one Euro (0.83) in June 2007 when the museum closed to make way for housing.

The vessel was cut up and floated down the river to its new home at Woodside ferry terminal where it was rebuilt.

Merseytravel, which owns the boat, said it would be a "boost to local tourism".

'New location'

Engineers used a special diamond wire cutter - like a giant wire cheese cutter - to slice the sub into four sections and float it down the river.

Each section of the submarine, which weighs up to 240 tonnes, took a day to move and the overall operation took about a month.

Neil Scales, chief executive and director general of Merseytravel, said: "We're now moving on to a new stage in what is an exciting project to boost tourism on Merseyside.

"More people than ever before will be able to view the sub in its new location. Previously youngsters under the age of 16 were not allowed to enter the craft.

"Now there will be superb viewing areas so that everyone will be able to see exactly what it is like inside."

The U-boat exhibition will also complement both the Resurgam, an early Victorian submarine - a full scale model of which is located on the north side of the ferry terminal - as well the historic connection between the Mersey Ferries and U-boats through the 1918 Zeebrugge raid.



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