Random Jottings

More side-scan 'discoveries' and images

Sometimes the 'discoveries' are undiveable whilst the images are of 'well-dived' sites!

First the discovery!


The Athenia was the first ship torpedoed in WWII and the fact that she was 'slow' to sink limited the fatalities to 117 from a total complement of 1,103, with most of the dead killed when the torpedo struck the engine room area.

As was usual at the start of any conflict there was an outcry from the press causing the U-boat commander to falsify his log and various cover stories to be circuated, including the narrative that the First Sealord, a certain Winston Churchill, had ordered her sinking. This theory whilst 'poo-pooed' now, would at the time have had a whiff of the possible following his use of the 'livebait squadron' in WWI which led to the loss of three obsolete cruisers and over 1,000 men in the early days of the first war.

Sitting at a depth of around two hundred meters there is no chance to dive this lost liner but it is probable that she will be explored by ROV and if there is anything worth lifting then rest-assured it will be lifted.

Now the new images!

Anyone who has dived in Egypt will have dived the 'Million Dollar Wreck' or more accurately Thistlegorm. Her history is well documented and due to the political situation she is now receiving some respite from the multitude of dive boats which tie onto her and divers who swim through the holds. Over the six years between my first and last dives she had visibly degraded with the moored boats ripping off parts of the wreck and applying stress to areas which are already weak. This combined with divers regularly 'kicking' off pieces of rust to expose fresh metal which then rusts accelerating her ultimate collapse means that Thistlegorm must be the most rapidly degrading wreck in the world!

When penetrating the holds; looking up you can/could see permanent puddles of air sitting against the deck plates, this causes the metal to rust at a higher rate with the commonly used 32% nitrox further accelerating the process.

I must say that the programme has an admirable aim although in the past various boot mooring schemes have come and gone and to be honest I fear that the project will simply chart the demise of the vessel from something that looks like a ship to a heap of metal, which of course is the path which all steel hulled ships tread.....



Dive safe


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