2 September 2017 – Shirala

Report by Paul Clunas

With many of the members diving in foreign parts or working, 4 stalwarts (Andrew, Jenny, Tim & Paul) braved the tempest and set sail for the Shirala.

Expectations were running high and we were not disappointed! Very calm, 7-8m viz, loads of ambient light, bloody marine life everywhere, couldn’t see the wreck for the fish! Tim and Paul visited the stern and saw the steering quadrant and rudder very clearly. Tim being a pensioner was keen to procure some ‘fruit des mer’ to supplement his meagre diet but the resident crustacean population were not willing to offer up a victim. A crab was eventually taken to the surface but it begged for mercy and was duly released back into the care of Neptune.

If diving was like that every time we went out from Littlehampton we would be fighting for spaces on the boat!

We probably have this wreck in our logbooks more times than any other out of Littlehampton. On this dive low water (neap)slack was observed to be about one and half hours after the time specified in the curves.


Some additional info about the wreck courtesy of Divernet

5306-ton British liner, built 1901. 410ft x 50ft. 387hp triple-expansion engines. Cargo: 213 passengers, 5000 tons general, 180 tons ammunition for Army, 1700 tons mail, including diamonds, London for Bombay.

Position: 50 40.92N; 00 35.17W. Depth: 24m. Sunk: 2 July, 1918 by torpedo in port side from UB-57 (Oberleutnant Johann Lohs). Five crew killed. Diving: Maximum depth in front of boiler. Sand fills open holds.

Bow and stern 7m proud. Much damage from explosives, crane and grab used in commercial salvage. Items found recently include binoculars, telescopes, wine, shell-cases, French perfume, brass clocks, medical equipment, elephant tusks and lorry spares, but diamonds and ships bell still allegedly in wreckage! (or Tim’s shed?) 

Posted in Dive Diary 2017
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