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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

September 4, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Paul Allen’s British bell hunt postponed

Rough seas forced Paul Allen and the Royal Navy to postpone the recovery of a warship bell deep in the North Atlantic.

The navy used Allen’s 414-foot megayacht Octopus to stage the recovery of the bell from the HMS Hood, which was sunk by Germany’s Bismarck in 1941. All 1,415 aboard were lost and the bell was intended to serve as a memorial and the centerpiece of an exhibition at the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

A001_C026_090394.JPG

“After days of trying to recover the bell of HMS Hood, poor weather and other issues have made it impossible to successfully retrieve the bell on this trip,” a Royal Navy spokesman said in a release this morning.

The team did leave memorial wreathes, after a ceremony on the flight deck of the Octopus.

The Royal Navy thanked Allen and the HMS Hood Association and added that work done on the trip “has been invaluable, and will put us in an even stronger position for a future mission.” The association hopes to attempt the recovery again in the next year or so.

Allen’s ready for another try.

“I was honored to be involved in this project, and I stand ready to help the Royal Navy try again in the future,” he said in the release. “Recovering this bell is a way to commemorate the hundreds of brave sailors who were lost at sea, and I want to see it through.”

In the meantime, the Microsoft co-founder’s embarking on another quest this week, pursuing a winning season for his Seattle Seahawks.

Here’s an image of the Hood:

HMS Hood and Seaplane.jpg

Here’s the Octopus, in an image by Martti Vire:

3973961586_379664f3e7_z.jpg

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