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Deep Wreck Mysteries May 8, 2011

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Shipwrecks, Technical Diving.
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I recorded a couple of shows a while back called “Deep Wreck Mysteries” from BBC Canada on my PVR and have just got around to watching one of them, having not seen them before. This one was called “Search to the Bone Wreck” about the S.S. Armenian, an American cargo steamship lost transporting mules in the first world war. It was a member of the “White Star Line”, same as the Titanic, sunk by a German U-boat on June 28, 1915, only 6 weeks after the sinking of the Lusitania, while entering the western approaches of the Bristol channel. “Bone Wreck” refers to the bones of the hundreds of mules lost in the sinking, although over a dozen human lives were also lost.

The show featured Innis McCartney, Cornwall based diver and maritime historian, and Dan Stevenson, “Technical Diver”. They were both diving rebreathers with sidemount cylinders. The first ship found on the search looked promising but the bones turned out to be cattle, not mules, and then found deck guns, while the Armenian was unarmed. It turned out to be HMS Patia (Sunk by a U-boat in 1918 transporting meat). Another wreck was found at 80m (>250′), 30km (20m) off the coast, but was not big enough to be the Armenian.

It was finally found further off the coast at 330′, using accounts of the German U-boat captain. This allowed 15 minutes of bottom time with about 3 hours of decompression. During the first dive, they found a White Start line plate, and an animal bone for analysis.

Show was made in 2008 and pretty enjoyable.

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