Why the Sri Lankan Navy Raised a World War II Shipwreck—And Then Sank It Again

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A huge World War II shipwreck recently saw the light of day for the first time since it was sunk by Japanese forces in 1942.

Built in 1924, the SS Sagaing was used to transport passengers and goods between the UK and Burma (present-day Myanmar), which was a British colony until 1948. The ship was attacked by Japanese bombers on April 9, 1942 while anchored in Trincomalee harbor in what is now Sri Lanka. As fire spread, the ship was abandoned, and most of the Allied aircraft and ammunition it was carrying was rescued. On August 24, 1943, the 453-foot vessel was deliberately sunk in the harbor to make a pier for naval ships. There it rested, 35 feet beneath the surface, for the next 74 years.

In 2017, Sri Lanka decided to salvage and relocate the wreck to make more space in the harbor. The months-long effort by the Sri Lanka Navy included dispatching divers to restore the rusted hull and install a new side, refloating the ship, moving it farther out to open water, and, finally, on March 30, 2018, deliberately sinking it once again. The wreck will be preserved in its new position.

Sri Lanka Navy

For more pictures of the wreck, head to the Sri Lanka Navy's website.

[h/t Fox News]