Following Allen’s much ballyhooed docking at the London Olympics, the Microsoft co-founder will use his 414-foot yacht for the good of the British people. Partnering with the British Royal Navy, Allen’s crew will assist in the recovery of the bell from the British battle cruiser the HMS Hood. That vessel was sunk in 1941 in the North Atlantic by the German warship Bismarck, leading to 1,415 men losing their lives.
The sinking of the Hood caused the greatest loss of life for the British Navy ever. The wreck was first discovered in 2001 in the Denmark Strait between Greenland and Iceland by Blue Water Recoveries Ltd., which will aid in the recovery efforts of the bell using a remotely operate vehicle. Allen is funding the recovery efforts of the bell, which if successful will be displayed by the National Museums of the Royal Navy at a new exhibition hall in Portsmouth.
Rear Admiral Philip Wilcocks, whose uncle died on the Hood and now serves as president of the HMS Hood Association, said that there are no headstones or flowers for those who die at sea.
“For those who lost their lives in HMS Hood, the recovery of her bell and its subsequent place of honour in the Museum will mean that, well after the remains of Hood have gone, future generations will be able to gaze upon her bell and remember with gratitude and thanks the heroism, courage and personal sacrifice of Hood’s ship’s company who died in the service of their country,” he said in a statement.
Allen is known for participating in deep sea adventures, having previously served as narrator as director James Cameron completed a successful 7-mile descent to the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench. The Octopus also was used to help hunt in the hunt for missing plane over the Pacific earlier this year.