+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Scapa Flow

  1. #1
    Martini Diver Simon TW is just really nice Simon TW is just really nice Simon TW is just really nice Simon TW is just really nice Simon TW is just really nice Simon TW is just really nice Simon TW is just really nice Simon TW is just really nice Simon TW is just really nice Simon TW is just really nice Simon TW is just really nice Simon TW's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Hurghada (Egypt) and Lancaster (England)
    Posts
    254
    rEvo III Expedition + others

    rEvo Meg AP Sentinel KISS

    Scapa Flow

    I dived Scapa recently and read quite a bit on it. I know that a great deal of UK divers know all this but as this is a worldwide site then it could be of some use.

    Orkney is a group of islands north of Scotland, the sea separating the islands had ships sunk (on purpose) between them to create a enclosed area of sea. This is called Scapa Flow and was at one time a very important part of British Naval strategy. In the first world war the British thought that they had all shipping coming in and out of the flow monitored, one German U-boat (UB-116) tried to enter and was detected and sunk however years later in 1939 on one particularly high tide another U-boat (U-47) did get into the flow over the top of the block ships. The result of this was that HMS Royal Oak was sunk with a torpedo and 833 men died. The Royal Oak is still here but it is a protected war grave and itís illegal to dive within 100 metres of it.

    At the end of the first world war Germany signed an Armistice, which was a cease fire while terms of surrender were agreed. The Kaiserís Imperial High Seas Fleet were in port where they had remained, penned in for most of the war. A condition of the Armistice was that 74 ships were to be disarmed and taken to a neutral port if at all possible. However, the High Seas Fleet were taken by escort to Scapa Flow.

    The crews on the fleet were disheartened and revolution had broken out in Germany and a new communist government had taken power. The Fleet were kept in the Flow for months and the timeframe by which the Armistice was agreed was being continually extended. News was withheld from the German crews and the leader a Rear-Admiral Ludwig von Reuter decided that as the Armistice was to end the state of War was to be resumed. He did not want the ships to fall into enemy hands therefore he gave the command to scuttle the fleet. This was at mid day on the 21st June 1919.

    The sea-cocks had been opened and the mechanisms for closing them were disconnected and damaged, the ships slowly and quietly began to take on water and sink.

    When the British who were guarding them realised what was going they panicked and a few fights broke out resulting in 8 German deaths (the last of the first world war) they tried to board boats and tow boats to shallower water to beach them. In the end 47 ships sank.

    The scuttling of the fleet at Scapa was the greatest loss of ships ever in one go and also the most ships sank by one man. Reuter took full responsibility for the sinking and was decorated for it.

    What he also unwittingly did was make Scapa Flow on the worlds best dive sites. Most of the scuttled fleet have been salvaged, ironically a lot of the armour plate was sold to Krupps and used to build ships like the Bismark and Terpitz for Hitlers Navy.

    Seven ships of the scuttled fleet remain. The three Battleships are all inverted due to the weight of their guns, when they took on water they became top heavy and rolled over. When these ships were built they were some of the biggest ships in the world at over 25,000 tons each, the Konig which lies in 40m metres, Kronprinz Wilhelm in 34 metres and Markgraft at 42metres. All of the ships have been blasted in places to give salvage access to the non ferrous metals, this also means that divers can get a good look inside. Because of the sheer size of these vessels when diving on decent it gives the impression that your on the seabed not on the underneath of a battleship.

    The other ships that remain are four light cruisers the Brummer (36 metre), Coln (35 metre), Dresden (34 metre) and karlsruhe (24 metre) these all lie on their sides.

    There is a further ship, V83 this was a torpedo boat (destroyer) it was scuttled and then raised by the salvage company who used it to help re-float the Hindenburg, when this was achived she was dumped in her present position. V83 is broken in two and well broken up, she lies between 20 metres to as shallow as 5 metres.

    Scapa Flow boasts 92 wreak sites and 54 further unidentified or unknown wreak sites it is a sheltered area covering 120 square miles. In the morning in the main harbours there are many boats full of divers waiting to explore.
    __________________

  2. #2
    New Member s75952004 is an unknown quantity at this point s75952004's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    canada
    Posts
    45

    Re: Scapa Flow

    thanks for the very intresting thread ,for us chaps who in canada and love wreck diving.:D

  3. #3
    Steve C UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Weymouth, UK
    Posts
    642

    Re: Scapa Flow

    If you want more information about diving in and around Scapa Flow I can recommend Rod Macdonald's book "Dive Scapa Flow" (ISBN 1-85158-983-X). It is the definitive guide to diving Scapa Flow and well worth reading.

    Steve

  4. #4
    Go DEEP!!!! Explorer is a jewel in the rough Explorer is a jewel in the rough Explorer is a jewel in the rough Explorer is a jewel in the rough Explorer is a jewel in the rough Explorer is a jewel in the rough Explorer is a jewel in the rough Explorer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    1,023
    MEGALODON

    Evolution, KISS GEM

    Re: Scapa Flow

    Dove Scapa Sept 2002 for two solid weeks on the "John L'. It was a fantastic trip and recommend it to anyone who love wrecks. It is part of history. A good buddy of mine dove on the Royal Oak in the early 70's before it became a war grave and it was he who inspired me to make this journey.

    My bottle of Scapa wiskey will age until the next trip. Next time, with CCR and dive some of the wrecks on the outside.
    Last edited by Explorer; 4th November 2005 at 07:05. Reason: Typo, oops.

  5. #5
    Steve C UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Weymouth, UK
    Posts
    642

    Re: Scapa Flow

    Thinkthe Royal Oak became a war grave the minute it sunk...

    .. a mate of mine dived it a few years ago as part of the annual survey team...said it was still an awesome sight underwater.

    S.
    Last edited by UKSteve; 4th November 2005 at 19:45.

  6. #6

    Re: Scapa Flow

    sorry to disagree but i think the royal oak wasnt officially classed as an off limits war grave when it sank it was dived regularly through the sixties and seventies when lots of spidge was removed and that pushed the off limits war grave status that is in force today

    i was i had the opportunity to dive this fine ship a true beauty and surely an awesome dive

  7. #7
    Steve C UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Weymouth, UK
    Posts
    642

    Re: Scapa Flow

    Sorry ...was trying to make a subtle point that is lost on some divers....

    ... one's attitude to wrecks where there was a loss of life - and particularly where there was a great loss of life - shouldn't really be dependant on whether they have been classified as off limits. Hence it was a war grave from day one...and perhaps should have been shown more deference as a result. You could argue the same about the Prince of Wales and Repulse in the South China Seas.

    The best observations I have seen written about this concept was in Robert Kurson's book, Shadow Divers.

    Gripe over... :)

  8. #8
    Custom Title Allowed! Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Northants.
    Posts
    1,529

    War grave double standards?

    Bit of a favorite rant of mine!

    The Oak, Vangaurd and Hampshire are all off limits as war graves, and the Oak [as I understand it] still has a large quantitiy of oil aboard that is posing a problem.

    You are allowed to dive the U Boat wreck though which sank with the loss of all crew. Why is that not a war grave as well? Because it isn't British?

    People aren't allowed to touch war graves that are submerged, but a Radio 4 programme last year interviewed a farmer in Ypres about all the WW1 relics he had found while ploughing his fields and kept in his barn. At no time was he called a grave robber, or any questions asked about why he kept the stuff.

    I feel that there is a double standard, usually from non divers, about war graves, and what constitutes one. For example the M2 is a war grave, although she sank in 1933 [bet I got the year wrong and will be pulled up for it :o].

    I believe in look but don't swipe on all wrecks, and I can't see the point in lifting stuff from the Titanic as everyone knew what was on board down to the last bolt. But to ban diving on a wreck so no one can enjoy it and it rusts away forgotten is seen as OK, even by the same people that go on WW1 and WW2 battlefield tours.

    Rant over, normal whinging service will resume shortly.

+ Reply to Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts