Department for Culture Media and Sport

Heritage Minister Andrew McIntosh Acts To Protect Wreck Site Of Prototype Submarine


Heritage Minister Andrew McIntosh today announced that the wreck site of a prototype submarine built at the turn of the 20th century and containing one of the first periscopes has been designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973.
The Order, which comes into effect today, will protect the site from being damaged by unauthorised interference from divers.
The Holland no.5 submarine was built by the Holland Torpedo Boat Company. It was the last of five Holland submarines to be built following a decision by the British Admiralty during the 1890s to evaluate the submarine's potential as a weapon.  The Holland no.5 was launched in May 1902 and foundered off the coast of East Sussex on 8 August 1912.
Andrew McIntosh said:
" The Holland no.5 played a short but significant role in the evolution of the British submarine and the survival of this boat gives a unique opportunity to study the technology of the time including the possible prototype of the submarine periscope.
" Only two of the Holland submarines survive today. The Holland no.5 is thought to be intact and in good condition. I am pleased that this Order will preserve the wreck site allowing proper study of the vessel and preventing any vandalism by trophy hunters."
Notes to Editors
1.  The wreck of the Holland no.5 submarine was discovered in 2000 off the coast of East Sussex. A survey scan was conducted in April 2001 and the Department's contractors at the time, the Archaeological Diving Unit, confirmed the identity of the wreck. The Advisory Committee on Historic Wreck Sites advised the Department that the site was a strong candidate for designation based on its historic significance. A wider consultation among interested parties subsequently took place.
2.  Holland no.1 was salvaged in 1982 and is now displayed at the RN Submarine Museum at Gosport in Hampshire.
3.  The Secretary of State has power under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 to designate wreck sites which she is satisfied ought to be protected from unauthorised interference on account of their archaeological, historical or artistic importance.  Before making a designation order, the Secretary of State is required to consult with appropriate persons (unless she is satisfied that the order should be made as a matter of immediate urgency).  Once designated, it is a criminal offence for a person to interfere with the site except under the authority of a licence. 


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