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IN PICTURES: New Images Of Falklands' Wrecks Released

It's the first time in five years the wrecks have been scanned, as part of work by the survey ship to update charts of the Falklands for use...

HMS Enterprise has scanned three Falklands wrecks in stunning detail to mark the 35th anniversary of the South Atlantic conflict.

It's the first time in five years the wrecks have been scanned, as part of work by the survey ship to update charts of the Falklands for use by fellow mariners.

Lying with her port side buried in the seabed, destroyer HMS Coventry lies 300ft underwater, 13 miles north of Pebble Island, West Falkland.

HMS Coventry fought against Argentine aircraft, but three bombs struck her on the port side, causing her to sink in a matter of minutes. (Picture: Ministry of Defence)

Enterprise also scanned HMS Antelope, which lies at a 45-degree angle on the bottom of San Carlos Water, and her sister HMS Ardent, which sank in nearby Grantham Sound after being hit by a succession of bombs.

HMS Antelope sonar colour scan - Falklands wrecks. Credit: MoD
Antelope was struck by a 1,000lb bomb which initially failed to explode. (Picture: Ministry of Defence)

However, it was triggered as disposal experts worked to defuse it and the resulting explosions tore the ship in two.

Cdr Philip Harper, Enterprise's CO, said:

"Of all our sonar images of 1982 wrecks, we think Antelope is the most remarkable - the 4.5-inch gun is probably still loaded."

HMS Ardent sonar colour scan - Falklands wrecks. Credit: MoD
Type 21 frigate Ardent was hit by several air raids on the first day of the San Carlos landings and sank the next day, taking 22 men with her.

A dozen HMS Coventry survivors travelled to the site on HMS Clyde and took part in a service of remembrance, during which a wreath was cast into the South Atlantic and a tot of rum poured into the waters at the request of relatives of crew lost on 25th May 1982.

Chris Howe, Coventry Association chairman, said: 

"Hopefully we have done our shipmates proud, right over the spot where we were sunk 35 years ago.

"It's been amazing to come back here and remember our shipmates who are still on patrol. Some of us are of an age where we might not be able to get down here again."

Lt Emily Witcher, Clyde's operations officer, said the guardship's crew had been both fascinated and moved by the veterans' accounts of life in the Royal Navy in 1982:

"It's been really interesting learning the differences between the Navy of then and now and especially what these men went through - which the modern sailor might not have appreciated before, especially the conditions some of them endured."

Cover picture courtesy of the Ministry of Defence.

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