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Diver Inspection

Date 2013

Event ID 998489

Category Recording

Type Diver Inspection

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/event/998489

58 52.283 N 2 54.784 W The dispersed remains of a well broken-down vessel lie on a rock and sand bottom with mixed seaweeds in about 3m – 5m of water. The remains have a light coverage of short animal turf. It is not possible to provide an accurate measurement for the debris field as it is too dispersed. The wreckage can be affected by light swell but is generally sheltered from tide.

A rudder and one blade of a part buried propeller were noted to the stern of the vessel. The propeller is not attached to the propeller shaft, suggesting it has moved. The propeller shaft runs from north to south and is encased within part of the propeller shaft tunnel. A large winch gear and a small section of ladder were noted to the east of the stern section, while a large section of steel plating and ribs were identified to the west.

There is a large crankshaft between these remains and those of the SS Empire Seaman, and it is unclear to which wreck the crankshaft is associated with varying accounts in different sources (Macdonald 1993:120 c.f. Wood 2008: 128).

There are several lengths of line entangled with the remains and evidence of abandoned creels.

Analysis

Historical documents and image confirm that these are the remains of the SS Gartmore, not the SS Gartshore as previously reported. ADM X96-4 and associated maps and sketch record the remains as the SS Gartmore. This is supported by the Stark Shell records for the two vessels. These records demonstrate that the SS Gartshore was only purchased by the Admiralty in 1915. This is after the ADM document ADM 1-8428-216 records the SS Gartmore was sunk. The Stark Shell records indicate that the SS Gartshore was used as a mooring hulk.

Built by Tyne Iron Shipbuilding Co., Newcastle for W. H. Atkinson, North Shields in 1879 the SS Gartmore had several owners. The vessel was sold to the Admiralty in 1914 and was sunk as a blockship in Weddell Sound on the 14th September 1914.

While both the SS Gartmore and the SS Gartshore were owned by Gart SS. Co., Ltd, the SS Gartshore was only sold to the Admiralty in 1915.

Macdonald (1993) noted that the remains of the SS Gartshore were at one stage visible at low water with those of the SS Martis and SS Empire Seaman.

These remains are no longer visible, which which could suggest they have become more broken down since his book was written.

Information from Annalisa Christie, Kevin Heath and Mark Littlewood (ORCA) March 2014

People and Organisations

References