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Wartime tragedy explored in new exhibition

The sinking of a former passenger ship in Manx waters by a U boat during the First World War will be explored in a new exhibition at the House of Manannan.

'A Wartime Tragedy in Manx Waters' which opens this morning (Saturday) will be the first opportunity to see artefacts recovered from the wreck site of the steamship Romeo in 2008.

Visitors will also be able to read the full story of the sinking of the ship and why it happened.

U boats sunk almost 20 ships in the Irish Sea during the first six months of 1918. Four were lost in Manx waters, including the Romeo.

In July 2008 a group of divers visiting the Island undertook a number of dives to the wreck and 40 items were recovered.

After discussions with Manx National Heritage, 11 of the items were donated by the divers to the national collections, with five others being loaned for the duration of the exhibition.

As the artefacts had been on the seabed for nearly 100 years, conservation measures had to be gradual and carefully controlled but, after a year of work, the items are stable and ready for display.

The exhibition opens at 10am and will run for a year in the foyer of the House of Manannan in Peel.

Admission to this part of the centre is free.

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