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Lending a Tentacle

The HMS Hood was once the flagship of the Royal Navy. Photo Credit: Naval Historical CenterMicrosoft cofounder Paul Allen kept his 414-foot yacht Octopus in London for the Olympics. But before sailing for home, the vessel will partake in a noble mission in service of The Crown.

Octopus, which is outfitted with survey and navigation equipment as well as a deep-water ROV [Remote Operated Vehicle], is helping to recover the ship’s bell from the HMS Hood, a British warship sunk by the notorious German battleship Bismarck in 1941. Hood went down with 1,415 men onboard. The ship’s bell was a treasured piece of the ship, and adored by many of the men who perished with her. The bell will be raised and turned into a memorial for HMS Hood in 2014. The expedition is also hoping to uncover details about the ship’s final moments, which have remained a mystery throughout the years.