whitsand wrecks

My chalet neighbour gave me a copy of ‘My Cornwall’ which is “Cornwall’s fastest growing magasine!” it has some great articles inside including one on the many shipwrecks around the Cornish coast, estimated to be around 3,000. It got me thinking about the HMS Scylla which, when sunk eight years ago was very big news in the South West and beyond. On the 27th of March 2004 the HMS Scylla was sunk in Whitsand bay where she now lies creating an artificial reef for divers, the first of its kind in Europe; she can be found by the yellow buoy that is attached to her bow and two smaller orange buoys attached to her bridge and stern. Scylla was launched from Devonport in 1968 and had been to Gibralter,  Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong, seen action in the Icelandic Cod War and the Gulf War and helped the victims of Hurricane Allen in the Caymen Islands. She is sunk alongside one of the most popular wreaks on the SW coast – the SS James Eagan Layne which was wrecked in 1945. After being hit by a torpedo from a German U-boat the James Egan Layne was towed towards Plymouth to save  her cargo but her stern collapsed causing her to sink in Whitsand bay.

Interested in diving ?For a tour of these wrecks go to http://www.divernet.com and click on wreck tours

Photo - William W McKee

SS James Eagan Layne photo – William W McKee

Another wreck included in the ‘My Cornwall’ article is the Metta Catherine which was a Danish brigantine (1786) and sank just off Plymouth Sound. Apparently she was carrying Russian calf hides and wine amongst her treasures and in 2013 Mount Edgecombe House is going to host an exhibit of her artifacts.


About Ruth

I am an actor and theatre maker, I moved down to the SW of England 19 years ago with my partner and son. Five years ago we bought a chalet on the Rame Peninsula and are fully embracing life of the cliff.
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