The Admiralty allowed the town clerk to charge a fee for people to climb on the deck. Two members of the coastguard were tasked with showing important visitors around inside the submarine.
The visits were curtailed when both men became severely ill, they both died shortly after. It was a mystery what killed the men at the time and so all trips into the sub were stopped, it was later discovered that chlorine gas which had been escaping from SM U-118′s batteries had caused severe abscesses on the lungs and brains of the unfortunate men.
SM U-118 was commissioned on 8 May 1918, following construction at the AG Vulcan Stettin shipyard in Hamburg. It was commanded by Herbert Stohwasser and joined the I Flotilla operating in the eastern Atlantic. After about four months without any ships sunk, on 16 September 1918, SM U-118 scored its first hit on another naval vessel.
These attempts however were unsuccessful and the proximity of the submarine to the public beach and Queens Hotel dissuaded further use of explosive forces.
Eventually, between October and December 1919, U-118 was broken up and the pieces removed and sold for scrap.
- This type of U-Boat had a length of 81.5 m, speed: 11.5 knots (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph) surfaced and 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph) submerged, test depth: 75 m (246 ft). Total crew: 36 men.
- SM U-118 was a type UE II mine laying submarine of the Imperial German Navy and one of 329 submarines serving with that navy during World War I.