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Thread: tips for identification

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    RBW Member Tetis is an unknown quantity at this point Tetis's Avatar
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    tips for identification

    Hello.
    Soon I will be joining a three day expedition to an unidentified wreck in the Mediterranean. It has been dived before (3-4 times),but we still don't know it's identity. We believe it to be the SS Zealand, a British merchant ship that was sunk by a U-Boat during WWII. But maybe it isn't...
    The wreck lies at a max. depth of 87 meters, far from shore, limiting bottom times and reppettative dives. Normally the sea is rough.
    Personally, despite wreck diving experience, I have never participated in a project like this. I would like to hear some tips about where we could find a name or anything else that could help identify it - such as the bell, for instance (any other "obvious" markings are fine - I am a rookie...). The bow is blown up, and previous divers didn't find anything on the stern. The lifeboats were deployed. I am thinking of raiding the bridge - but of course anything degradable is probably gone. what could I find there? perhaps in the engine room, if it is accessible, maybe in the quarters?

    Where do you think I could turn to find the deck plans of the SS Zealand?

    Does anybody have plans or layouts that he can send me of a ship of this era (built in 1936)?

    Where can I learn about the cargo the Zealand was carrying? Is was on a convoy by the code name of METRYL, sunk June 28 1942.

    Any tips or help would be appreciated.


    Thanks,

    Bryan


    on wrecksite: WRECK WRAK EPAVE WRACK PECIO

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    RBW Member Mike Ferguson will become famous soon enough Mike Ferguson will become famous soon enough Mike Ferguson will become famous soon enough Mike Ferguson will become famous soon enough Mike Ferguson's Avatar
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    Re: tips for identification

    bell (bow and bridge) and makers plate (usually on the bridge on the centreline of the ship) are the things that people usually look for. However probably the easiest thing to find, as they are more numerous, are pottery or pottery shards with the shipping line name on them. This will narrow down the identity of the wreck to a single shipping line. find out how many ships of that line were lost in the area and if it's one you probably have a reasonable ID. Don't discount other means as well, we were recently trying to identify a wreck and one of the possibilities was a swedish ship. Finding a toilet with a swedish manufacturers name on it sort of swung the ID in favour of the swedish ship.

    after that look at number of holds / general layout of the vessel and compare with known photo's. looking at the photo I'd be counting portholes along the sides of the superstructure as well if it's reasonably intact

    If you get access to the engine room look at the engines and boilers and look at the type of boiler and engines fitted and look for makers plates and note the name on them.

    for further details of shipping losses for British vessels have a look in 'British Vessels Lost at Sea 1914-18 and 1939-45' (Cambridge, Patrick Stephens Ltd, 1988) if you haven't already.

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    RBW Member atedeschi is an unknown quantity at this point atedeschi's Avatar
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    Re: tips for identification

    Invite me and lets bring up some bridge equipment :)

  4. #4
    RBW Member Tetis is an unknown quantity at this point Tetis's Avatar
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    Re: tips for identification

    Thanks -
    Basically I think it's all about openning your eyes. It's my first time on this wreck - I'll write a post on the site if we find anything interesting

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