14 August 2013 – Holland V & Normans Bay Wreck

Who : Jules, Bryan, Stuart, Simon, Norman & Paul

How : Nautical Archaeology Society on Dive 125 out of Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne

Holland V – 10 miles South East of Eastbourne

The Holland No.5 submarine is a remarkable piece of our naval heritage. She was the first submarine to actually be commissioned in the Royal Navy, on the 19th January 1903 at the same time as Holland 3. At this time the Holland’s 1, 2 and 4 were still being reworked. The Holland class of submarine rapidly become obsolete and in 1912 Holland 5 was destined for destruction and was being towed to Sheerness when she foundered and sunk at her present location 6 miles SE of the Royal Sovereign Lighthouse, Sussex, England.

holland V

Dived at low water slack, 31m to seabed, shot laid on port side just forward of midships. Viz 10m+ 

Small wreck (20m) so detailed scrutiny best way to pass dive time, amazed at her state of preservation  after 100 years underwater. NAS operate a ‘no take’ policy on marine life so the indigenous large lobsters are not scared of divers. Large cod also observed under the stern plus customary shoals of bib. Tompot blennies abound in the nooks and crannies and lots of edible and velvet swimmer crabs. 

Normans Bay Wreck

The wreck lies at Latitude 50° 48.1767’ N, Longitude 00° 24.6380’ E, WGS 84 (as provided by Wessex Archaeology 2007 report).NAS Banners 101006_aw This is in Norman’s Bay in East Sussex, just south of Pevensey, near Eastbourne. The depth of water over the site varies from 7m to 15m. Many people believed the Norman’s Bay wreckage is the wreck of HMS Resolution, but there are at least three other recorded losses in the bay which makes identifying the wreck difficult. HMS Resolution was a 70-gun third rate that sank during the great storm of 1703. Other recorded losses include a Dutch man of war lost in 1690 at the battle of Beachy Head when an allied English and Dutch force was heavily defeated by the French. Seven Dutch ships were lost in the battle, at least three of these are supposed to have sunk in Norman’s Bay. The names of two of the seven Dutch Ships are unknown the other five were the Vriesland, Wapen Van Utrecht, Maagd Van Enkhuizen, Elswout/Elswoud and Tholen.

Dived at low water slack, seabed at 13m, viz was <1m There is an established trail (see link below) which was very helpful given the prevailing conditions. Still we were able to see the cannons, surprised that they lie at all different angles with some sticking right out of the seabed, also did not expect the large size of some of these pieces of ordinance. I have to admire the NAS team for working in these conditions with long bottom times recording and tagging the artefacts (apparently the viz in that area is rarely any better than we experienced)

See more details through the links on the name.

Posted in Dive Diary 2013
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