The Newry & Mourne Sub Aqua Club - Irish Ship Wrecks

Irish Ship Wrecks Dived by Newry & Mourne Sub Aqua Club             
Updated: 21.03.09
THE 2899-TON HUNSDON STARTED LIFE as the Arnfried, built in Bremen in 1911 for the Hamburg Amerika Line. At the start of World War One, the Arnfried was captured by the British in German West Africa, and entered British service as the Hunsdon.

The Hunsdon almost survived the war serving the Allied side, being torpedoed just outside Strangford Lough less than a month before the armistice.
A buoyline is usually tied to the forward mast of the wreck (1), so this is where our tour begins. The mast has fallen across the first hold to leave the top of the mast almost next to the bow (2).
As often happens when a wreck breaks up, the bow has remained relatively intact, but has fallen onto its port side to leave the starboard side uppermost, the shallowest point being 33m. In the centre of the bow deck, a small hatch leads below, though easier access is available through the break. Either side, the wooden deck is beginning to decay and leave holes rotted through.
The anchor-winch is still solidly in place, chains leading down the hawse pipes to the anchors, which are secured against the outside of the bow (3).
Below the bow, the deepest point of the wreck is in a scour to 38m.

Now heading aft, behind the bow, the deck and hold coamings have fallen into the wreck at a depth of about 35m, with deck fittings such as bollards and winches still in place.
Some sections of hull remain upright or even slightly overhanging the deck, particularly on the starboard side (4).
Between the forward holds, by the foot of the fallen mast a single large winch spans the deck (5).
The booms of cargo derricks lie forward and aft across the holds (6).

After the second hold, the wreck rises from the seabed with the bulkhead to the stoke hold (7). Gaps in this bulkhead provide glimpses of the three boilers inside. The wheelhouse would have been located above.

The three boilers provided steam to a triple-expansion engine (8), standing upright and reasonably intact along the centre line of the ship.
The hull to the starboard side has fallen in towards the engine, while on the port side the hull has fallen out to leave the water tanks exposed (9).
To the aft of the engine-room, a reel with water-hose is intact and standing upright on a deck plate (10).

Back on the centre-line, behind the engine the thrust-bearing is enclosed in a big square box, with the propeller-shaft leading aft in a covered tunnel (11).

As with the forward part of the wreck, the deck has collapsed into the two aft holds, though it is considerably more broken, so that the propshaft tunnel is visible most of the way to the stern.
Between the holds, a single cargo winch has tipped forwards, leaving its base vertical and facing aft (12). The corresponding mast (13) has fallen aft and to port, diagonally across the coaming for the aft hold.

A final cargo winch spans the stern deck (14). This would have served the aftmost hold via small derricks and a goalpost mast, now fallen forward and off the port side beneath the main mast.
Like the bow, the stern is decked in wood, with a small hatch in the centre providing access below (15). For wartime service, the Hunsdon was fitted with an "anti-submarine" gun at the stern.
This is tipped over the starboard side , its barrel pointing downwards (16). The bore measures about 4in, and allowing for concretion and rust the calibre could be anything within half an inch of this. I have been unable to find any specification.

Dropping to the seabed and then back beneath the stern, the propeller is still in place (17), though well tangled in a trawl net that has been dragged into the stern. The scour beneath the stern reaches 36m.

While at the seabed, a quick swim round to the port side shows the remains of the goalpost masts and associated derricks that would have served the aft hold (18).
Ascent from here depends on what the current is doing. If it is heading back towards the buoy, a drift along the wreck followed by at least the first part of the ascent back up the buoyline may be easiest, even if a delayed SMB is used for the final part of the ascent.

If it is running in the opposite direction, ascent will be easier using a delayed SMB from the stern.
Story Courtesy Of
The wreck of the Hudson
Departing from Strangford slipway, go starboard and on out left of St. Patricks rock, the wreck is buoyed some distance from the rock.

can be quite choppy but once you descend that soon goes.

Lying upright and in a maximum depth of 43 metres. You come down to where the shot is tied at midship about 37m and though the wreck is well broken up you can still make out everything clearly, which in good viz is very worthwhile. Turn right at the bottom of the shot make your way towards the bow, where there is still lots of steel structure and winches to be seen. Just below the shot line there is a swim through were the bridge once was, you come across the ladder stairs to the lower deck. The engine, boiler and propellor shaft come into view. At the stern, you will see a 50mm anti aircraft gun pointing towards the sea bed. As you return towards the shot keep your eyes open for souvenirs.

Start your ascent and decompression and back to the boat. Later in the day you can chat to your buddy about your experience over a pint  of the Black Stuff in the club house(ie the local pub)
Article written by Niall Gonnelly.
The wreck of the Lough Garry.
This is a wreck for the more experieced diver, as the current is very strong. Lying between 32 and 35m. This really is a "must dive" when you are diving the Antrim coast.
Departing from Ballycastle, you have a 15 minute boat journey to Rathlin island. The wreck is buoyed and is only a short distance out from the island. On entering the water, just before slack tide, you descend through a couple of metres of plankton with up to 20m of viz (although this depends on weather conditions leading up to the dive). This wreck still has the ladder tied on the starboard side. Deep down, making your way through shoals of Pollock down to the prop it possible you might catch a glimpse of a conger. Coming up along the port side you can see the extent of the deterioration that years have brought, and that of the navy using it for explosive training. Making your way towards the bow and you can see the anchor chain coming out of the forward cargo hold, where incidentally there are reports that there is still rifles inside. On your way back you can see where the bridge once was. Tiles on the deck, rear cargo hold and mast. Then follow the side of the vessel back up towards the bow to the shot line and then decompression.
Article written by Niall Gonnelly.