U-853 Wreck

 | By Seamus on 5/8/2011 2:57:17 AM | Views (5722)

German submarine U-853 was a German Type IXC/40 U-boat of the Kriegsmarine during World War II. Her keel was laid down on 21 August 1942 by AG Weser of Bremen. She was commissioned on 25 June 1943 with Kapitänleutnant Helmut Sommer in command. U-853 saw action during the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II. She conducted three patrols, sinking two ships totalling 5,783 tons.

On her final patrol, U-853 was sent to harass United States coastal shipping. She destroyed USS Eagle 56 (PE-56) near Portland, Maine. Just days before Germany's surrender, U-853 torpedoed and sank the collier Black Point during the Battle of Point Judith. American warships quickly found U-853 and sank her 7 miles (11 km) east of Block Island, Rhode Island, resulting in the loss of her entire crew.

U-853 is a popular deep sea diving site. She rests in 121 feet (37 m) of water. Holes in the hull permit access to the interior of the submarine, though it is a war grave with most of the 55 crew bodies remaining inside.

The US Coast Guard pinpoints the location of the wreck at 41.13 N 71.27 W. U-853 sits upright with her periscope rising to a depth of 100 feet (30 m).Most of the 55 crew member bodies remain within the hull, which is a war grave. It is one of the more popular dive sites in Southern New England. The hull has depth charge blast holes: one forward of the conning tower at the radio room and another in the starboard side of the engine room. Entering the wreck is dangerous due to debris, sharp metal edges, and confined spaces.

On May 6 and 7, 1945, Navy divers attempted to enter the wreck to recover the captain's safe and the papers within, but failed.Recreational divers first visited the site in 1953. In 1960 a recreational diver brought up a body from the wreck. This provoked former navy admirals and clergy to petition the US government for restrictions on disturbing the dead. The German crewman was buried with full military honors in Newport, Rhode Island. At least two recreational divers have died from exploring the wreckage. Renowned deep sea diver Stephen Hardick perished in 2005 while filming the U-boat. He surfaced unconscious and could not be revived. Hardick, age 60, died as the result of saltwater drowning associated with poor health according to the Rhode Island Medical Examiner's office.

Structure Information

U-853 Wreck is a fishing spot. A shipwreck or wreckage from a sunken vessel is located at this spot.

This fishing spot was added to the database on 5/8/2011 2:57:17 AM by Seamus and last updated on 12/21/2016 9:15:41 PM.


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GPS Coordinates

Degree, Decimal Minutes:
N41º 13.529', W71º 25.038'
Decimal Degrees:
41.22548, -71.41730
Degree, Minutes, Seconds:
N41º 13' 31.73", W71º 25' 02.28"

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