Interesting places to visit on The Medway – Part 1
Did you know we have the only visible WW1 German U-Boat in the UK in our river?
It’s the wreck of UB122. At the end of WW1, at least 100 of Germany’s U-boats (submarines) were confiscated, and towed over to here to be scrapped. It’s believed that this particular one had already had its engines and conning tower removed at Halling. It was quite common for submarine engines to be used for industrial factory uses in those days. In 1921, it was being towed towards the Thames Estuary when its tow broke and it drifted into Humble Bee Creek where it’s been sitting for nearly 100 years. Originally, there was confusion and experts weren’t sure if it was either U122, U123 or UB 122, but following an investigation, experts are now confident they can discount the first two, as they were minelayers, and would have been larger in size.
She carried up to 3 officers and 31 men (quite an achievement when you see her up close), 10 Torpedoes, and a 3.46 inch deck gun. While surfaced, she could travel at 13.9kn, and submerged, dropped to 7.6kn.
To visit it, you’ll need to anchor NE of Bee Ness Jetty about 1-2 hours after low tide, and then take your tender up Humble Bee Creek and keep a good lookout and you should see it after passing a couple of mud islands, or click here to cheat and see where it is on Google Maps!
It is theoretically possible to climb aboard and walk around on top, but BE VERY CAREFUL – there are lots of very sharp bits of metal protruding, and being a wreck, any part of it could collapse at any moment. My advice is not to climb aboard unless you’re very sure of your capabilities.