Belgica may be on its way back to Belgium

19th February 2009, Comments 0 comments

The historic vessels was lost in the Arctic sixty years ago.

The wreck of the Belgian polar exploration vessel has been examined by divers.

The Belgica was lost sixty years ago, but the Belgica Society wanted to find out if the ship can be salvaged from the bottom of the sea off Norway. Divers came up with good news.

The structure of the wreck is still in good shape. Many beams are still sturdy and will be strong enough to retrieve the entire ship.

The Belgica made history travelling to the Antarctic under the leadership of Adrien de Gerlache, the leading Belgian polar explorer. A young Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen was also on board. During its journey to the South Pole it was stuck in the ice for many months.

Afterwards the Belgica was used as a fish processing vessel. During the Second World War Britain employed the ship as an ammunition storage vessel.

It was shelled by the Germans. It was not hit but sunk all the same.

Salvage work and transport to Belgium could cost 1.5 million euros. If it can be salvaged the wreck of the Belgica will go on show in Belgium. There are no plans to repair the vessel.

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