Underwater survey of the
wreck of the Hull Steam Trawler
Skegness H 14
During September 2004,
members of the Filey Bay Initiative undertook an underwater survey of
the remains of the wreck of the Steam Trawler Skegness which
was lost on the 24th September 1935. The vessel is located under
the precipitous chalk cliffs at Speeton to the south of Filey and much
has been written about the loss of this vessel. The tragic
circumstances of the vessel's loss had such an impact on both the
fishing communities of Hull that it is remembered
today within the local community.
The purpose of the survey
was to locate identifiable sections of the wreck, record them on video
and determine to what extent the wreck had degraded. Below is a below
deck plan of a vessel closely resembling the Skegness and
thumbnail images show some of what can be seen in the various locations.
Point the mouse over the thumbnails and the images will pop up.
The below deck plan of the Skegness
It was expected that there
would be little remaining of the vessel, what was present had been
disarticulated by the ravages of the weather and general corrosion,
however some parts can still be identified. Video stills from the
film have been obtained and some are reproduced here. The
underwater visibility was moderate under bright sunlight and the sea
conditions were calm at the time of the survey.
As with most steam driven
vessels, the strongest parts of the vessels were the boilers and
condensers. The single boiler on the Skegness is present and
is partly exposed at low water but the condenser is not present. This boiler
is largely intact but is displaced and suffers from the effects of
corrosion and this can be seen in the image above. The inside
of the fire boxes were visited and although partly choked with debris, some fire bars were seen and the extent of the
corrosion of the fire tubes was self evident.
On the after end of the
boiler, the lower section of the triple expansion steam engine was
identified, namely the cranks and supporting engine structure but heavily
covered in marine growth. One connecting rod remains, believed to be
from the low pressure steam cylinder and is positioned vertically and
frozen in time from when the fatality occurred but little else remains
apart from scattered debris and the part of one cylinder, connecting rods
and possible valve casing material
At the base of the
starboard (North) side of the boiler copper pipe work is seen
amongst the compacted debris and close by is the remains of the dynamo, of
which the copper windings on the armature are clearly visible.
Further out to sea there appears to be little else visible and the
propeller which would have been of cast iron was not found.
Closer inshore on a patch
of sand one anchor is visible and isolated scattered ferrous material is
present in this area. During the survey, old large calibre
ammunition was observed with rifled driving rings but without nose
fuses fitted, as the Skegness was not armed this is believed to
have been located on the the wreck site by means of the prevailing
northerly seas that sweep this area and is indicative of the risky nature
of working in this location.
video survey may form the basis of a formal measured survey at a later
date but there are few times in the year when the site is accessible or
the clarity of the water good enough for this to take place. Future
work will be planned with care.
The site is not classed as
a particularly interesting dive and divers wishing to visit this site are
advised not to do so unless they are in the possession of a fully
comprehensive local weather forecast, stable sea conditions and have the
benefit of experienced local knowledge.
All the pictures are the
copyright of John Adams of the Filey Bay Initiative.
Skegness story Wreck