Wrecks & Archaeology

Royal Navy to dismantle WWII shipwreck in risk of enormous explosion

A Ministry of Defence report said an explosion “would throw a 300 metre-wide column of water and debris nearly 3,000 metres into the air and generate a wave 5 metres high”.

The warship was part of a US convoy travelling to the UK in August 1944 - but when it arrived in the Thames Estuary, it was instructed to anchor in the Great Nore, off Sheerness, where it sank, with about 1,400 tonnes of explosives remaining on board.

Divers, Mine Warfare Personnel, HMS Vernon, monument, Royal Navy, Gunwharf, Portsmouth, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, military diving news, naval diving news
The Vernon Monument honours all involved in mine warfare, diving, bomb and bomb disposal - past, present and future

A monument for all involved with mine warfare and diving to be officially dedicated

At present, the dedication event at Gunwharf Quay is provisionally pencilled for Friday, 15 July 2022. The summer date has been chosen, because it is anticipated that Covid-19 will be less of an issue. That being the case, it is hoped that current and former Royal Navy Clearance Divers will be allowed to take part in this important occasion. 

Dangerous Shallows:

Book Cover

Dangerous Shallows tells the story of a quest to solve maritime cold-cases. The odyssey takes the reader along for a moment by moment look at the events surrounding the loss of over a dozen different ships. All but one of these ships have never been written about before. Dangerous Shallows includes the stories of discovering their wrecks and unfolds tales of their final hours. In several cases, these discoveries rewrite history.

About the Authors

Wisconsin Historical Society archaeologists, assisted by divers from the Dane County Sheriff's Office, recovered the historic canoe from Lake Mendota on November 2, 2021
Wisconsin Historical Society archaeologists, assisted by divers from the Dane County Sheriff's Office, recovered the historic canoe from Lake Mendota on November 2, 2021

1,200-year-old canoe found in Wisconsin lake

Wisconsin Historical Society maritime archaeologists recovered a historic dugout wood canoe from the bottom of Lake Mendota in the US state of Wisconsin yesterday, just a few months after learning of its existence in June 2021. The canoe is a remarkable artifact, made from a single tree.

Museum of Wrecks opens in Stockholm

Vrak – Museum of Wrecks is a new museum about the Baltic Sea’s unique wrecks and cultural heritage, and a sister museum to the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. Nowhere else in the world are there as many well-preserved shipwrecks as in the Baltic Sea.

Vrak brings their stories to the surface while leaving the wrecks themselves and their objects on the seafloor where they are best preserved. The new museum serves as a hub for wrecks, new discoveries and research throughout the Baltic Sea region. 

Exhibition at Vrak - Museum of Wrecks in Stockholm
In the exhibition "Resande man", visitors walk around on a carpet with a reproduction of the wreck in 1:1 scale. Photo by Anneli Karlsson / Vrak – Museum of Wrecks/SMTM

 

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Stern of the wreck. The stern post ends to opening in planking, tiller moved in it. The transom has been above this structure. Uppermost planks on the sides of the stern have fallen away.
Stern of the wreck. The stern post ends to opening in planking, tiller moved in it. The transom has been above this structure. Uppermost planks on the sides of the stern have fallen away.

The age of a unique fluit in the Baltic Sea resolved

Badewanne originally discovered the wreck last year at the depth of 85m. This summer, during the filming of the documentary film Fluit, the dive team found the transom of the exceptionally well-preserved wreck.

As the divers succeeded in turning over the transom, which was lying face down on the seabed, an engraving with the year 1636 was revealed, along with an image of a swan. The swan is presumed to represent the name of the ship. The divers also took measurements of the wreck to determine the accurate size of the vessel.

The British cruiser HMS Drake in the United States in 1909.
The British cruiser HMS Drake in the United States in 1909. On October 2nd 1917 HMS Drake was was torpedoed by the German U-boat U-79

Divers reminded not to disturb protected wrecks off Northern Ireland

A prolonged period of sunshine and calm seas over the summer has led to an increase in the numbers of people visiting the historic wrecks which lie off Northern Ireland's shore.

Of the 340 known ship and plane wrecks within Northern Irish waters, only two have special levels of protection;  La Girona, a warship of the Spanish Armada which sank near Portballintrae in 1588, and HMS Drake, a WW1 cruiser that was torpedoed by a German U-Boat in 1917 and sank in Rathlin Bay.

Vera Figner Wreck: 20th-Century Paddle Steamer in Russia's Silva River

Diver inspects the wreck of the Vera Figner wreck. Photo by Pavel Lapshin
Diver inspects the wreck of the Vera Figner wreck. Photo by Pavel Lapshin

Scuba diving is a diverse and breathtaking activity where, upon submerging, one can find oneself drifting along the waves of history. Such an opportunity presented itself to me during my recent visit with fellow divers in Perm, who discovered an interesting object under the ice in the Sylva River.