|08/08/2018||When is a Wreck not a Wreck?||
An answer seems easy, but not always obvious. A wreck might be raised and float again. It might sink again, immediately or soon after – and become a wreck again. It may be repaired and live out many years afloat. Alternatively, the raised wreck may be towed away and scrapped. In each case bar one, it will continue to be referred to as a ‘wreck’. For our purposes, we want to know if it has remained a wreck, and where it lies!
ID No 6825, the NESTORIAN, is listed in our database (and others) as having wrecked off Jack’s Hole, Mizen Head, between Arklow and Wicklow Head, on the east coast of Ireland. Under the command of captain David Cowans(Cowen) with a crew of ‘twenty two, composed of men of all nations’, the relatively new 800 ton American timber sailing ship struck the Arklow Bank in November, 1858. Suspected to have badly damaged her hull, the soon barque slipped off the Bank, and was pooped with a large amount of water, carrying away a significant amount of equipment and rigging. Anchors were let go, the pumps failed to stem the ingress of water, and she sank.
The Nestorian was abandoned and then sunk on Novemeber 25, roughly midway between Jack’s Hole and the north end of the Arklow Bank.
A lifeboat from Arklow failed to make the wreck, but Dr Halpins’ lifeboat from Wicklow met the survivors in their own boats, off Bride’s Head, and towed them into Wicklow. Although there were accusations of cowardice, there was only one fatality.
The marine authorities in Dublin were notified of the loss, and on December 4, it was announced that instructions had been issued, to place a ‘wreck buoy’ at the sight of the wreck. The instructions were carried out remarkably quickly, which probably had more to do with a potential salvage claim arising from the abandoned vessel, than a warning to mariners, as the tops of her three masts were clearly visible above the water. The transits of the wreck were published, along with notice of the placing of the wreck buoy.
It seemed a pretty simple business to plot it, refer to INFOMAR (Irish Seabed Surveys), and just go out and find her. We did most of that, and as well as starting with a good estimate of the wreck’s position, we were confident we could see the wreck on the survey. It was a relatively unremarkable vessel, so we decided to leave it alone until something more interesting presented in that area.
A couple of years later, intending to continue a search for the Aid (1804), quite close to the shoreline north of Wicklow; The Murrough to Killoughter, we began to study wreck reports for the area. And much to our surprise, an advertisement for a wreck auction on the shore near Killoughter railway station, was spotted – it was for the Nestorian. It was December 21, and the wreck, ‘Yellow metal- fastened ship’, was to be auctioned on the beach at Killoughter, after being officially declared a wreck, eleven miles further south, and on the opposite side of Wicklow Head.
The answer was simple but not obvious. The Nestorian was carrying a cargo of salt. After lying on the seabed for some weeks, the salt dissolved, the ship became buoyant again, and the 800 ton barque popped up to the surface - just like a mine. A tug was sent from Liverpool, and began a tow to Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire). She got off Wicklow Head, when the stricken vessel fell over and filled again. Remaining barely afloat, the large ship was towed around The Head, and beached near Killoughter – where she was sold by auction and subsequently broke up on site.
Even though the Nestorian floated and travelled again, she remained a ‘wreck’ until broken up on the beach at Wicklow, but just wasn’t ‘wrecked’ in the place first reported.
The whole operation was reminiscent of what became of Lord Cloncurry’s famous cargo of Roman marbles – ‘lost by shipwreck in Killiney Bay’’, when they were lost ‘in’ the Aid after she was blown down off Wicklow Head in 1804, and towed into the same place as the Nestorian. Although this wreck has been declared, located, we believe this not to be the case.
|02/05/2018||Bay of Shipwrecks||
An article about an area on the coast of Wexford, known as 'The Graveyard of a Thousand Shipwrecks' has been posted on the Ouzel Galley site... ouzelgalley.net/ouzelgalley/?p=734
The article covers a number of shipwrecks that ocurred between Kilmore Quay and Carnsore Point.
SS Ceres, Balaclava, City of London. Information on places of historic and archaeological interest that are relative to the incidents is also include.
|15/12/2017||SHIPWRECKS OF INTEREST||For those who are seeking special information on a 'shipwreck of interest'; whether it be historic for one reason or another, had a valuable or unusual cargo, or seeking to trace vessels on which their ancestors sailed or crewed and was lost, please contact us if you think we could be of assistance.
It is impossible to enter all of the research accumalated on shipwrecks over years into the databse and we may be able to help with some further information.
Additional to hand information on a shipwreck is not chargeable.
|14/12/2017||New Book - 'Murtai Óg OSuilleabháin (c.1710-1754): A Life Contextualised.' by Gerard Lyne.||This extensively researched book is a wide review of the life and times of the well known folk hero Morty Oge O'Sullivan, and his death at his home in Eyeries on the Beara Penninsula, in 1754
'Captain of the Wild Geese', a smuggler, and a recruiter for the French military, he became the bane of authorities in Ireland. More to the point, after killing the local Revenue man, John Puxley of Dunboy, a reward was put on his head.
In the dark hours of the morning on May 5, the military, having previously sailed from Kinsale, landed at Castletownbere and marched over the mountains in the dark, and attacked Morty's house, killing him, associates, and injuring others. It is said that his boat, a vessel of some interest, was moored nearby and was stripped by the locals, and holed to prevent it being taken. It was however, reputedly burned at her moorings by the attackers.
But where is it now?
The boat, described as a 'sloop' by some, is of special interest, as it may hold some clues to the type of vessel that smugglers of the period in that region, used. Reports that it had been armed and may have been capable of being rowed, are also interesting.
The mounting of a search for the remains are being investigated. If located, any remains might answer many questions regarding the type of vessel and the action on the May 5, 1754.
Morty Oge O'Sullivan was reputedly the master fot the vessel Dutelle/Du Teillay.
The Du Teillay, described as a frigate, was apparently used to return Prince Charles to Scotland in 1745. Whether O'Sullivan was on it at the time, or whether he later received command of the ship, is uncertain.
|14/12/2017||UPDATING irishwrecks.ie DATABASE||Visitors to this site should be aware that updating and fine tuning of data is ongoing. At present, approximately half of the entries have had their Geo locations reviewed and corrected to more accurate positions, where required. The remaining entries will be reviewed and updated within one month from 18/12/2017.
Additional data, entries and images are constantly being added and existing entries reviewed.
|11/09/2017||Irish Wrecks Website New Release and Upgrade.||Irish Wrecks has relaunched website with new features.
The new site is Tablet/Mobile friendly and offers new features like a Grid Search and Search by Wreck ID. The authors of Irish Wrecks are continually updating site and site records and striving to add new features especially in it's unique Geo Searches. The site will also be adding a tutorial to assist users with queries.
|03/08/2017||ARKLOW Update||Infomar seem to have finished surveying the Arklow Bank and Bays area and moved southward. Many new anomailies and shipwrecks have been identidied in the remarkeable imagery of the seabed. The wreck of the 19th century SS Hellenis was mentioned earlier, and is now beleived to have been the cause of a lot of the confusion relating it to the 'Arklow Submarine'. Whether or not the remains of a missing submarine lies on the Arklow Bank - is anybody's guess now.
The wreck of the Cameo was dived slightly north of its chartered position and should be a great wreck dive for sports divers.
|14/12/2016||New Wreck Finds off Arklow||Following detailed surveys by Infomar and some Dublin based divers in 2016, new shipwrecks have been located and scanned. Infomar scanned in some detail two wrecks; the Cameo, and an old steamer in a previously undesignated area. A group of divers from Dublin had been looking for the 'Arklow Submarine' nearby and dived the remains of the steamer. It is believed to be the screw steamer Hellenis, wrecked in 1869.
The steamer was bult in 1861 and was an early and briefly owned steamer of the Palgrave Murphy shipping company. There is little previously written about this ship and seems to have fallen between the cracks of maritime history and accounts of Murphy acquisitions. Being iron, the wreck is in relatively good condition and its image profile is very like a submarine - possibly leading to it been mistaken for the 'Arklow Sub' all these years.
Other anomalies have been detected and are being investigated at present.
Results of the Infomar seabed survey will be out soon and are eagerlly awaited.
- BETWEEN THE TIDES -||Authors of this web site have just released a new publication through the publishers, Amberley Books.
The book adresses the history of ships, shipwreck and diving. A number of short stories help to illustrate different aspect of the developement of ships, wrecking, and the causes. Wreckings from early times have predicated subsequent attempts to recover valuable cargoes and to inflame controvarsy between ship owners, land owners and local inhabitants that came to be known as 'wreckers'. Such adventures continues to captivate the imagination of man.
Accounts of shipwreck are from the 18th century through the mass maritime emigration years, to the attacks by U-boats around Ireland during WW1. The book also describes various wreck locating projects that have been undertaken by the author and diving companions.
More details can be viewed in the 'Publications' section of this web site.
|21/02/2015||Lord Cloncurry's 'Most Valuable Cargo'||The remains of a ship, which was widely believed to have been that of the Aid, were discovered at Killoughter, county Wicklow in 1985/6/7. Receiving significant publicity at the time, the discovery was made by a team of divers, led by Professor Dillon from UCD.
The owner of a valuable cargo on board the ship, was Lord Valentine Cloncurry, who was still on his Grand Tour in the Med. He was collecting and returning ancient and valuable artefacts to Ireland. One of his shipments was carried in the brig Aid, and left Leghorn in 1803. The Aid wrecked on the coast of Wicklow in 1804.
The underwater find, attracted excited publicity, but none of Cloncurry’s ‘most valuable cargo’ was located. The search for this shipwreck was a well organised and respectably funded project.
After our own study of the subsequent detailed report and representations of the artefacts that were recovered from the wreck, and described in it, it is now believed, that this shipwreck could not have been the Aid.
Our team will proceed to Wicklow in 2015 to survey and dive the area where the shipwreck is believed to have ocurred, with high expectations of further finds!
|26/08/2014||The Hunt for Spanish Armada Shipwreck off Spanish Point||The hunt for the wreck of the Spanish Armada vessel, San Marcos off Spanish Point in county Clare, continues. Lost in 1588, hopes of a discovery have risen, after a recent survey has produced some inetersting side-scan and magnetometer returns.
|26/08/2014|| ||An additional search facility has now been added to the database. The enquirer can now search by CARGO. If one chooses 'Search by Cargo' and enters, gold, linen, tin, iron etc., ships sunk with similar cargo will be returned on Google map. The enquirer can then click on the tag for further details of the shipwreck.
|26/06/2014||Discovery of the Pomona||It is confirmed that the wreck of the American SV Pomona has been located off Wexford. She lies in the position as reported at the time of her loss in 1859. Extensive wreckage has been filmed by a team of divers from Dublin and the find has been reported to the authorities. It is hoped to complete an elementary survey in order to understand the wreck site and present findings.
It is also hoped, that the local museum in Enniscorthy, where some artefacts from the ship are on display, may be interested in the find.
|19/05/2014||Emmigrant Ship Pomona||A team of Irish divers believe they have relocated the remains of the emmigrant vessel 'Pomona' at the Blackwater Bank, county Wexford.
The ship was wrecked when it struck the Bank in 1859. There was a catastrophic loss of 424 lives when she sunk off Blackwater Head.
Attempts will be made this season to confirm the identity of the wreck and report it to the relevant authorities.
|16/05/2014||Shipwreck Database - updates.||The shipwreck data base is undergoing a number of updates.
Completion of Lat & Lon for every entry.
A 'Reference' table which allows viewer to see the full details of the reference sources.
An 'Event' table which allows viewer a quick interpretation of the cause of loss. E.G.'LT' = Loss by torpedo.
A weather table will be added, which will allow the viewer to access unique early weather conditions for around Ireland - not avialable elswhere.
|25/07/2013||Another Sailing Ship Sinks||It is indeed regrettable that another beautiful sailing ship, the Astrid, has been lost. It is very commendable that all aboard were saved.
It is ironic, that probaly less than a century ago, and at times, much less than that, such an event might have ocurred in obscurity, and word of the loss might have taken days to filter into the public domain. Today, these events appear in the media - 'live'.
Notwithstanding our modernity, they still ocurr. And it would seem that, all of the sail training in the world has not subsituted for a working engine.
|05/05/2013||The 'Spirit of Gathering' Overcomes Archaeological Concerns for Lusitania Shipwreck.||It has been announced that an exploratory venture into the wreck of the Lusitania by Gregg Bemis, a man unlightingly described as and 'American businessman', has been authorised by Irish officials.
Previously a nasty source of contention between the two, but now in the new spirit of the 'Gathering' and 'all things that benefit tourism and interest in Ireland', fears of Ireland's archaeologists have been overcome. Permission has recently been granted to Mr Bemis to 'open' the wreck and take a peek inside.
The stated reason for the persistent curiousity, being a wish to confirm whether or not there were high exolosives being illegaly carried in the passenger liner. An admission to a shipment of small arms being aboard, already a matter of record, why further confirmation should merit such a large expenditure of time and money, is surprising.
If found, will it be a surprise? Will it change anything? Would it happen again?
To repeat once more! The fact that this liner and lots of other ships carrying arms and munitions from America, were sunk by German U-boats - had little or no bearing on America entering the war against Germany two years later.
The fact that there are numerous other very interesting 'goodies' aboard, is seemingly of little interest to the investigative salvors.
Never the less, and not unlike the interest won on the coat-tails of the Titanic, it can only be good for Cork and the 'Wonders of Salvage'.
One wonders if, this new 'Gathering' spirit, seen as being a benefit to Ireland for what ever reason, why it then should not be extended to embrace those interested in investigating and salvaging artefacts from those tantalising wrecks of the Spanish Armada that lie scattered in shallow waters around the coast of Ireland?
|21/01/2013||IRISHWRECKS FINAL UPDATES||There are now approximately 400 pictures of shipwrecked vessels tagged to individual entries. It is not envisaged that there will any further bulk uploading of shipwreck images.
There will now be a programme of adding images and video to the 'Gallery'. These will have an association with shipwreck and shipwreck sites around Ireland.
There are over 10,000 enrtries with a Lat/Lon entry. The remaining 4000+ entries will have Lat/Lon entries added this year.
Other than day to day updating, this is considered to be the final work required to bring this database to as near as complete as possible.
|06/12/2012||The Hand of Man||A busy sea, modern and fully equiped ships, and still they collide.
Most recently, the 485ft Baltic Ace collided with the 440ft container ship Corvus J, heading from Scotland to Belgium, in darkness off the coast of the southern Netherlands. The 'Fatal Trilogy', man, weather and ship, or at least one aspect of it - man, and sometimes that's all it takes, has seen fit to sink another ship and kill sailors.
No matter how advanced we become, it would seem, that there is no escaping man's arrogance.
|23/11/2012||Islands Do Disappear||It has recently been announced that, New Moore Island, in the Bay of Bengal, small and all as it is, or was - has disppeared. Recorded on maps and other imagery, it is, dare I say it, - Old Moore, both Francis and Theophilus - gone. If it can happen now, could it have happened to those mythical islands that we can't find today?
|18/01/2012||Two Shipwrecks One Hero||We know when one year passes to the next there will be more shipwrecks and more loss of life. Its the nature of life on a precarious element. The loss of the passsenger liner Concordia on the coast of Italy and the fishing vessel Tit Bonhomme on the coast of Ireland, were two terrible and avoidable events for different reasons...... Although they are sometimes called accidents, both vessels were seemingly well equiped and both struck rocks in well known areas. On the face of it, you might say that high-tec marine navigating equipment and well know marine guidelines and regulations would make accidents like these almsost impossible. There are however mitigating circumstances in one case.
The Concordia is not it...........fair weather, excellent visibilty, excellent equipment and 'bump'. The huge liner comes so close to land that it hits it. It's hard to find one - an excuse. The ensuing scramble for the lifeboats seemed totally out of place with apparently minimum danger, until that is, the captain joined the rush. The reported radio communication between the coast guard and the captain was sureal. The poor captain did not want to return to his ship to oversee its total evacuation because it had "got dark"!! ........Most shipwrecks would seem to be driven by three factors - human, the ship and weather. In the case of the Concordia only one factor would seem to have been at play - human.
............In the case of the Tit Bonhomme there would seem to have been two - human and weather. In this unfortunate case, the weather was terrible with restricted visibilty but there are also some questions to be asked in relation to navigation and general equipment. Making the entrance to Glandore Bay would be tricky in such conditions but with the help of good equipment it should be manageable. It is well known that fishermen have come under sustained pressure from increasing regulations, which seems to be pushing them into taking risks with weather, in order to make catches. What was more curious, was the inordinate number of non nationals who formed the crew. Making me wonder, where have all the Irish fishermen gone and why? To his eternal credit, the brave skipper's last care was for his crew. God be good to them all.
|13/01/2012||Deliver Us From Evil||Providence not only means God, it is also the name of an 'Irish' based exploration firm. This company is now busy exploring the Kish Bank basin off Dublin for the precious carbon fuels. The Middle East may not only have the precious carbons in common with Ireland, the name Kish may also have some interesting origins there. Notwithstanding ancient history, let us hope that Providence will deliver the Irishalites from the evil of the Troika!
|02/01/2012||'WHORE'S GAZETTE' 2012||It is not a new 'Red Top', nor is it a slight on working girls. I believe that it is a term that 'ladies of the night' used to describe Lloyd's List. This paper informed the reader as to the wherabouts of ships and when they might be expected etc. And preparions could be made!....................... The new year will of course bring more, shipwrecks, piracy, smuggling, kidnaping and almost everything that went on centuries earlier. (More exciting tales of shipwreck salvage will be nice.) So, it's a no-brainer that the black leader in the west will cross guided missiles and the like with the the off-black leaders in the east and every thing will get off to a new round of military bust ups!
I believe them when they tell us, that they believe, it will be 'as easy as drinking water'. I also believe they are wrong....................The little democracies in the middle should should just keeptheir heads down and continue paying the taxes. It will all come right in the end - the very end..................A bit morose, but have Happy New year anyhow!!.......................PS. We expect that all revisions and record trawling will be complete in the first half of this year and, with the exception of 'no one else spotted them either', there will be a comprehensive shipwreck database for all of Ireland - FREE ONLINE AT - irishwrecks.com !!!
|27/09/2011||THE DEVIL'S METAL||The silvery stuff, at one time was considered by some to be more valuable than gold. It's subsequent fickle fortunes went south and seen many investors get 'burnt'. Right up to the present day! A company that has seen many successes in marine salvage have done it again!! Odyssey, a sophisticate marine salvage company has struck silver off the west coast of Ireland. The company charms me no end with it's almost 'buccaneering' salvage stories from the high seas. Proving what men can accomplish when provided with the lure of a profitable return.
In this most recent case, the locating of the WW2 freighter SS Gairsoppa, carrying a huge cargo of silver, the story is as usual - epic. The long journey from India, the huge cargo of silver, torpedoed, only one survivor, in the deepest water ever attempted, etc., etc. The first questions that came to mind were: Is silver really worth the huge outlay? Was it carry anything else? Coal fired freighters commonly refueled at South Africa on these journeys and sometimes took on addittional and the more vaulable cargoes of gold. Another thought also struck me -that was. Did results from the Irish National Seabed Survey help in the location of this wreck? You can't beat a good story.
|05/08/2011||Another Armada Find!
Archaeology on a shoe string.||Once again we have another wreck from the Spanish Armada 1588 discovered in Irish waters. Several have already been found, almost nothing done with them (with some exception), and now we have another near Burtenport in Donegal. Why one should get priority over no less than three together at Streedagh Strand, I don't know.
It is nevertheless great news but I fear the 50K euro allotted for the excavation will not nearly go far enough.
Maybe there's a possibilty of sponsorship froma bank!!
|26/07/2011||Wrecks Galore||Its the summer season and as usual there are no shortage of wreck reports.
To begin with, another expedition is being organised to visit the wreck of the Lusitania. The reported reason for the visit, to determine the cause for her sinking. Perhaps I wasn't paying attention but I thought she was struck by a torpedo and resulting or secondary internal explosions. It seemed clear she was carrying munitions of one kind or another and at one time or another. That's what a country does when its at war - does it not? Perhaps there is another reason?
The next is the excavation of the Royal Charter shunk off Anglesea, a wreck I thought was all 'fished out'. Apparently there always a bit left and the the word 'gold' still presents a powerful reason to invest.
To my excitable imagination, the third is the most interesting. An exploration group searching the Baltic seas between Sweden and Finland have discovered a very unusual anomally on the sea bed at 90m's. The object is almost perfectly round, 60ft in diameter and some scour marks leading to it. The obvious jump to conclusion is a 'flying saucer'. Have a look yourself. The picture is compelling, but is it genuine??
|26/06/2011||MORE SHIPWRECKS & PICTURES||We are continuing to add more records of shipwrecks. We have also added a large amount of photographs associated with the shipwreck entries. In all of these entries we have accredited the picture to the publication it was extracted from. This work is also continuing.
Pick a known wreck and have a look and let us know what you think.
|02/06/2011||UC42 - Another raid by divers.|| It didn't take long. A lost submarine believed by some to be a figment of imagination, or at best, completely dispersed by naval divers during WW1. UC42 was relocated in remarkably ‘whole’ condition during a side scan survey in 2010 in the area of the Kinsale Gas pipeline. The word got out and divers descended on it - fine so far.
It has now been discovered that some divers are interfering with the remains of the German submariners’ belongings within the wreck and also attempting to hack off its bronze propellars. I presume the object of their efforts was to obtain mementos, objects which could not be displayed in public without being declared to the authorities.
Anyone familiar with only just some of the details surrounding the loss of this submarine would be aware that it is believed all of the crew were lost in this submarine - making it their grave. This of course begs the question of designation and how or why it was not designated an official war grave, bestowing on it some protection from such acts - maybe.
A completely separate reason why this wreck should not be interfered with, is its archaeology, and how some detective work might resolve a mystery surrounding its final hours.
This submarine was detected on the seabed by a naval patrol out of Queenstown in 1917. Using hydrophones, noises were detected emanating from inside the submarine. The 'tapping' noises were speculated by naval intelligence at the time to be either its crew effecting repairs, or to be 'morse' in an attempt to signal for help . The submarine was depth charged and divers were sent down to inspect the wreck.
A diver reported that he partly entered the wreck and seen various items, including bodies. Some items were recovered from the wreck for confirmation and intelligence. It was stated by the diver(s) that the stern of the vessel was 'blown off' or severely damaged. It was conjectured the damage was caused by one of its own mines.
Having seen the wreck, I can say that this damage is not apparent and neither was there any apparent way of entering the submarine. Some of the mines are missing and some are still in situ. So, the question arises. What exactly happened to this submarine, and was there an attempt by the submariners to signal their distress, only to be destroyed?
There also remains some mystery as to the British authorities attitude to the U boat menace of WW1, and actions by their agents on the seas and in munitions production facilities in Germany.
What exactly took place in disposing of the bodies when UC44 was discovered off Waterford? This was a similar minelayer which was raised and removed to Dunmore East, roughly around the same time as UC42?
UC42 is an unfortunate war grave, its dead suffered greatly and it is important to discover exactly just what occurred before and after they died. It is therefore important that this wreck is not interfered with and that nothing is removed. The deaths of these young men must be respected.
Must we wait until 2017 when the '100 year rule' will apply. This wreck is easily accessed and I suspect that there will be little left by then.
|22/05/2011||My Enemy’s Enemy||Why would Irish people at a time when they were so terribly downtrodden by their English masters, threat Spanish shipwreck victims in thefollowing way?
"….The land and the shore were full of enemies; and when any one of our people reached the beach, two hundred savages and other enemies fell upon him and stripped him of what he had on until he was left in his naked skin..."
Captain Cuellar, Spanish Armada shipwreck survivor from Streedagh Strand, on the coast of Sligo, 1588.
|23/04/2011||The Ferries War||The 'jinxed' ship and the ferry boats that refused to leave Galway got everyone's attention. However, behind the fiasco lies and even bigger one and is surely a sad lesson in how not to run a tourist related business but how best to get a cheap ferry boat or two.
First, get a Paddy to order your ferry boats through the Irish and EU taxpayer. Build them with EU taxpayer's money, get their bottoms' wet only, and then tell the customer they can't be used.
Built for SIX million(published figure) and sold for less than ONE in the space of a couple of years. Mauritious being the lucky winner - this time.
On the plus side, at least Fianna Fail 'hangers on' were not contracted to store them!
In another scandalous waste of EU taxpayer's cash, it is believed that fish farms established under a scheme funded by the EU are about to be dismantled (or maybe sold to another deserving country).
Millions amounting to a figure not revealed have been spent establishing fish farms around Tenerife. Licences, farms, boats, shore facilities, employess etc., etc. were all established. Now that EU taxpayer's money is drying up, operations are to be ceased. Feasabilty study - I'm sure the EU carries out these, because they certainly insist on them for Paddy!
Is there are more dirty washin out there?
|01/04/2011||Believe it or Not - Hi-Brazil||Whilst on holidays recently, I read the book '1420' by gavin Menzies. It essentially makes the case that the Chinese were around the globe long before the 'flat earth' Europeans (A good read). And it was only as a result of their advanced stellar navigation and superior charts that the Europeans where able to follow. More to the point, this book and others, reference 14th and 15th century charts that show an island called Hi-Brazil, situated a couple of hundred miles to the west of Ireland. Despite expeditions, and unproven claims of discovery, it was never proved that the island existed. (I wonder how satisafactory proof could have been provided way back then?)
It nevertheless remains a strong memory in European and Irish mythology and in folklore. It did remind me however of the dive a group of us had some years ago on the west side of Mutton Island, off the coast of Clare, where one of our group recounted having seen huge 'cut stone arches'. The diver was a mature man and a stonemason!
Rumour also has it, that the ongoing Irish Seabed Survey detected an anomally off the west coast of Ireland, and during operations to investigate the area, their ROV was lost.
It just so hapens that in the designated area, there is a very 'shallow' bank(Porcupine) which rises from in excess of 3000 m's to to less than 200m's!
There are also some unusual anomalies in the same area. Have a look, it's online! What say you?
|01/04/2011||UC42. Another step to the end of a mystery and a great dive.||Having dived the wreck in January (A warmer month is recommended!!), I can confirm that apart from the outer hull, the wreck is in surpriningly good condition. All that appears in the various pictures published is good. Some mines do remain in the hull, leaving an air of uncertainty about the safety of such munitions. Some of the forward torpedoes that were carried externally, are not apparent. There does not appear to be one in the stern tube either. (not confirmed)
For me, the issue concerning the actual circumstances surrounding the fate of the crew and where their remains actually are, is still unresolved. This question may only be resolved by entering the hull in order to determine if these are within. Until this is confirmed the wreck should be considered a war grave and threated with the respect it deserves.
|19/01/2011|| !!!!! UKHO adds pos for UC42!!!!!||
The British Hydrographic Office has updated its position for UC42. The wreck was located in 2010 outside the entrance to Cork harbour where Naval Intelligence had indicated she lay. She is believed to be pretty much intact but possibly dangerous due to live armaments.
|19/01/2011|| Press Release||
It is rumoured that there will be a press release(s) regarding previously 'unknown' wrecks. That is, their precise position after been recently located. One of them I believe to be a German sumarine from WW1, lost off the entrance to Cok harbour. I have searched for this wreck for many years and failed to located her. Given that she is probably still full of mines and torpedoes it may have been just as well!! The fate of her crew after the sub was damaged by one of her own mines is still a mystery and it is very possible, that this wreck may still harbor their remains.
|03/12/2010||An ill Wind.||It is indeed an ill wind that blows no good to someone. This wind comes in the form of Ireland's ex Taoiseach's, Charles Haughey RIP, private yacht 'Celtic Mist' which is now up for sale. This yacht was a replacement for his earlier one that was lost under Mizen Head, west Cork while enroute from his island in the Blaskets some years earlier. Unfortunately, 'Celtic Mist' is probably unsuitable as a replacement sail training vessel for 'Asguard' but does present an interesting opportunity for adventurous entrepreneurs.
Mr Haughey, a man considered to have led the charge into Ireland's 'Tiger era' could be well remembered by guests whilst aboard his yacht during 'Tiger Cruises' in Dublin Bay. It's crew and passengers raising a glass while cruising by financial iconic buildings such as the Financial services centre, O2, and the National Treasury.
I'm sure there are plenty of 'well healed and articulate' punters who benefited from the 'Golden Circle' perfectly willing to cough up a handsome boarding fee for a reminiscent cruise of Dublin's Fair City. And maybe a lot more.
|30/10/2010||Asguard (post the Celtic Tiger)||Will we ever get another sail training vessel like our lost Asguard? It's truly ironic that one the one hand, we have Charles Haughey to thank for Asguard and his successors for taking the money and running. It was decided to abandon any attempts at salvage and just take the insurance check, leaving Asguard at the bottom of the sea. This may be practical but it certainly gives sail training lovers a big hill to climb. A group of Irish divers have recovered a number of important artefacts from the wreck this ship lying in 83 metres. Ship's wheel, bell etc. It is stated that they intend for these to be put on dispaly in our National Maritime Museum. This I presume is the museum in Dunlaogaire that remains closed. Another big hill to climb. We just don't seem to give our maritme heritage chance.
|13/10/2010||Wreck updates.||TITANIC....If someone orders a ship to be steered 'hard to port', does this mean the ship's wheel should be move or rotate round to port (anticlockwise)? Or, does it mean that the ship's tiller/rudder should be moved to port? They are not the same thing and have the complete opposite result.
So it was explained, that this confusion of sailing instructions reigned in the North Atlantic and led to the Titanic steering into the iceberg and not away from it!. Revealed in a recent publication, it and other pertinent facts were covered up and I think we know the rest.
The search for the Belgioso....Recently a number of large timbers were located on the Kish Bank. These would appear to be from the keel/rudder area of a very large wooden ship. Hopes are high as work progresses.
|17/09/2010||Missing Uboat off Cork!||Almost identical to the fate of UC44 of Dunmore East a few weeks earlier, UC42 was damaged by one of its own mines off the entrance to Cork harbour in Sept 1917. This submarine's efforts to either repair or attract attention were detected by naval patrol boats. The sub was depthcharged and it is believed that all of the submariners aboard were killed.
Almost immediately, the submarine was dived on by naval divers and a number of items were recovered and confirmed to be from UC42. It was also reported that the submarine was 'still and buoyant' and the question asked, 'should we raise it'? The reply from Admiralty was in the negative.
The question is: Why can't this sub, supposedly lying quite close to the entrance to Cobh in relatively shallow water not be located?
|14/09/2010||Airtricity and wreck finds.||During a preliminary survey of the Arklow Bank in advance of a proposed farm of offshore wind generators, a number of wrecks were located. Their details and positions are well documented now in a number of sources. Despite this, Irish divers seem oblivious to their presence and show no interest in discovering the remains or identity of these wrecks.(All in very diveable depths.)
It has been reported by one group of divers who did dive one or more of these, that a large chest with unknown contents lies in one of them!
NOTE: Permission to dive 100 year old wrecks must be obtained from the Dept of the Environment. It's not hard!
|13/09/2010||Scuttlebutt||It is not true that the elusive treasure and remains of the lost East Indiaman, 'Count de Belgioioso' have been located. Despite persistant efforts by a team of divers over a number of years, and the location of a number of wooden shipwrecks, confirmation that any were the 'Belgioioso' is improbable. During recent months divers have located and identified a number of heavy ship's timbers, denoting a large wooden wreck. These included a large section of keel and rudder area. However, the ship's identity remains uncertain.