The wreckage was found 50 yards (meters) under water in the Corfu Channel between the Albanian mainland and the Greek island of Corfu. It is believed to be a section of the bow of the British destroyer HMS Volage, the researchers said.
Forty-four sailors died in the mine explosions that damaged the Volage and another British Navy destroyer, the HMS Saumarez. Both ships suffered extensive damage but reached Corfu for repairs.
The incident halted talks between Communist Albania and Britain on restoring diplomatic ties that were broken earlier that year. The two countries only formally re-established ties in 1991.
“While largely obscured by mud, the remains show steel frames, electrical wiring, ammunition, stacks of ceramic plates, a British canteen and the remains of boots or shoes,” said James Delgado, president of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, who was part of the international team of experts. The institute is nonprofit research body affiliated with Texas A&M University.