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Sunk German midget U-boat in Derry

A RARE German midget U-boat - scuttled at the end of World War II - is thought to have been found in Lough Foyle.

A team of search and rescuers from Mallow, Co Cork came across the wreck on the lough bed.

Now they've been asked by the Royal Navy to conduct more detailed scans on the wreck site to identify the mystery object.

The team were sweeping the Derry lake with a sonar scanner when they came across the wreck. It's too small to be a regular U-boat and is thought to have been one of the Nazi's secretive mini subs.

"We have only used the device to look for people in the water," said Martin O'Sullivan of the unit. "But then this image came up on the screen and we thought 'what the hell is that?'.

"It's by far the strangest thing the sonar has ever found", he added.

The team was told to keep the location and the details quiet while it was decided how to manage the site.

There are fears than any unexploded device on board could be a threat to divers.

The Mallow team's €45,000 side scanning sonar was donated by the family of Brian O Tuama from Ballyvourney in Co Cork when their 19-year-old son drowned in the River Lee in November 2009.

His body was found by the Mallow Unit 12 days later and his father Brian set up a fund afterwards to help equip the unit.

The North's environment minister Alex Attwood said he has now ordered detailed scans of the area before Naval divers explore it further.