The Battle of Flamborough Head in Filey Bay


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Dr David Pendleton.  James Hodgson Donald G Shomette

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One man's twenty five year search the enigma of the Yorkshire Coast - the wreck of Commodore John Paul Jones's warship - the Bonhomme Richard.

"I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast  for I Intend to go in harm's way" - John Paul Jones 

The Bonhomme Richard

During the American War for Independence John Paul Jones commanding the Bonhomme Richard of the newly formed Continental Navy, dared to take on the might of the Royal Navy, and dared to win........

Sailing down the British coastline in September 1779 Jones encounters the Baltic Fleet and  HMS Serapis off the coast of Yorkshire.  For several hours in a deadly sea battle of classic proportions the battle unfolds with the Richard and the Serapis lashed together. At the height of the battle the Richard is on fire and starting to sink, when asked if he wishes to surrender, Jones replies with the immortal words "I have not yet begun to fight!", in a move of daring audacity Jones captures the British warship and watches as the Richard - shattered and on fire - sinks below the cold waters of the North Sea.

For thirty years, John and his team has searched for the lost wreck and has discovered a wooden wreck of historical importance on the dark seabed - "could it be?". He formed The Filey Underwater Research Unit and now as the Filey Bay Initiative the search continues.  This site is devoted to the Project and the partners of this important underwater cultural investigation.  In treacherous conditions and John and his team take every opportunity they can to shake hands with history and unravel the secrets of the Filey Bay enigma.

This site has been created by Tony Green 09/10/01, updated June 2005.