Wreck Diver Surveys Scotland’s Famous Wrecks

New Wave Media

January 13, 2013

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  • pathfinder
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Rod Macdonald a well-known diver in Scotland has surveyed and researched the country’s most famous shipwrecks. He has surveyed and researched 25 lying in Scottish waters for his new book, Great British Shipwrecks. Macdonald started with the famous shipwrecks of the Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands. He also included the WWI British cruiser HMS Hampshire in the survey, which rests in over 200 feet of water off Marwick Head, north west of Orkney. Other ships included in the survey were Thesis, Hispania and Shuna, and cargo ship Rondo in the Sound of Mull. The Dutch steamship SS Breda, lost near Oban in 1940, and the WWII minelayer HMS Port Napier off Skye were also included. Macdonald then went on to explore the remains of HMS Pathfinder, the first Royal Naval warship sunk by a U-boat in WWI. HMS Pathfinder was the lead ship of the Pathfinder class scout cruisers. After being hit by a torpedo the forensic evidence of the wreck shows that everything before the first funnel disintegrated. The majority of the crew below decks in the forward section had neither the time nor the opportunity to escape. The bow section sheared off under the strain as the stern heaved up to a sixty-degree angle. Then it quietly slipped below the surface. Eyemouth fishing boats were first on the scene and encountered a field of debris, fuel oil, clothing and bodies. Destroyers HMS Stag and Express had spotted the smoke and headed for the pall of smoke. One of the destroyers had an engine problem when a water inlet was blocked by a leg in a seaboot. The account confirmed rumors that a submarine had been responsible, rather than a mine. However The Scotsman also reported that Pathfinder had been attacked by two U-boats and had accounted for the second one in her death throes. Admiralty intelligence later claimed that cruisers had cornered the U-boat responsible and shelled it to oblivion. The sinking of Pathfinder by a submarine made both sides aware of the potential vulnerability of large ships to attack by submarines

Imaages: Uboat.net/UboatArchives