A major excavation and recovery campaign was undertaken between July and October 1946 during which Boats F1 and F2 were completely cleared, first by a small local team and then with reinforcements from the British Museum and elsewhere.

Attempts to remove F1 in a single lift proved unsuccessful; but all the parts were saved. F2 was cut up and lifted piecemeal. The remains of both were taken to the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich on Admiralty transport.