American billionaire to use his mega-yacht to search for bell of sunken British ship after Olympics
Microsoft founder and philanthropist Paul Allen will embark on an ocean expedition with the British Royal Navy after the Olympics.
Mr Allen is loaning his mega-yacht, the Octopus, to Her Majesty's navy so they can retrieve the bell of the HMS Hood, a battlecruiser sunk in 1941 during World War II.
After retrieving the bell, the British government hopes to display it as a memorial to the 1,415 people that perished when the ship sank.
Search: Paul Allen, right, is loaning his mega-yacht, the Octopus, to Her Majesty's navy so they can retrieve the bell of the HMS Hood, left, a battlecruiser sunk in 1941
Ring: A preliminary investigation of the wreckage by Blue Water Recoveries discovered the bell near the ship's hull
Octopus: Mr Allen will embark on the ocean expedition with the British Royal Navy after the Olympics
'There is no headstone among the flowers for those who perish at sea,' Rear Admiral Philip Wilcocks, president of the HMS Hood Association, said to the Telegraph.
The HMS Hood Association supports veterans who served on the ship and the families of those who were lost on the biggest British ship ever sunk.
The battlecruiser was sunk by a German battleship, the Bismarck, on May 24, 1942 in the icy waters of the Denmark Strait.
After an all-out assault on the vessel, it broke in half and sunk in minutes. Only three of the crew survived.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered the Bismarck to be found and sunk in retaliation and on May 27, it was finally destroyed after several days of attacks by Royal Navy ships and the Royal Air Force.
The Bismarck: After retrieving the bell, the British government hopes to display it as a memorial to the 1,415 people that perished when the ship sank
Free: Mr Allen offered the Octopus for the expedition at no cost to the government
The boat was found in 2001, 2,800 meters below the sea, according to the Telegraph.
preliminary investigation of the wreckage by Blue Water Recoveries
discovered the bell near the ship's hull and took photographs.
If recovered, the bell would be put on display at the national museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth, which is slated to open in 2014, according to the New York Post.
Mr Allen offered the Octopus for the expedition at no cost to the government.
Tragic: The battlecruiser, left, was sunk by a German battleship, the Bismarck, on May 24, 1942 in the Denmark Strait. At right, Captain 'X' tells a group of boys how he helped find and sink the Bismarck on May 27, 1942
The 414ft super-yacht is manned by a 57-strong crew, boasts two helipads, a recording studio, a basketball court, a cinema and a submarine.
'[Paul] is allowing . . . use of the Octopus free of charge for this effort, which will allow [the Royal Navy] to present the bell to the British people,' a representative for Mr Allen’s Vulcan Capital told the New York Post.
'This is a huge collaborative effort, and one we believe will result in a fitting memorial to the ship and the many men lost at sea.'
Because of weather concerns, the expedition will begin at the conclusion of the Olympics. They expect it to last three to 10 days.
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